On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to teach an 80-minute lesson at the school I am currently interning at, Manchester Valley High School. Even though I was confident in the lesson that I had written for my students, I was still really nervous. I had never taught a class for 80 minutes before. Not to mention, I was given the task of teaching this lesson to a class I had only met once before, simply because they were the students that were ready for my lesson. How did I know that they would actually pay attention to me for that long? Did I have enough for them to do to fill all 80 minutes? Would they like my lesson?
I designed a lesson on Thinking Maps and Patterns of Text, with the help and guidance of my wonderful mentor teacher. For those of you that don’t know, Thinking Maps are graphic organizers that are useful to students when reading different types of texts. They help the students with their reading comprehension and note-taking skills, so my mentor teacher and I felt like our students needed to learn these things in their Freshman Seminar class.
The coolest thing about teaching the lesson for the entire mod was that I ran the class from start to finish. I stood at the door and welcomed my students in to the classroom, gained their attention once the bell rang, and reminded them that they had a large homework assignment due on Friday. I reminded them that there were things projected on the Good Day slide (something my mentor teacher does to let the students know what they should take out before instruction starts) and that they needed to get those things out so that we could start the lesson. Then, we dove right into the lesson full force and the students listened to what I said, took notes, and participated. I’ve always been really scared that I’m going to get up in front of the classroom, ask a question, and all of the students are going to stare at me like deer in headlights, but that didn’t happen. Luckily, there were a few students in the class that were very eager to participate and kept raising their hand every time I asked a question. Teaching the lesson from start to finish was a fantastic experience and it was really great to have those moments where I could tell that my students understood what I was saying. After sitting here for two hours grading their classwork assignments, I know that the information that I was giving them sunk in, at least long enough for them to complete their classwork. I can’t wait to see how my students use these skills to enhance their reading comprehension and note-taking in the future! Not to mention, this makes me even more excited for my student teaching next semester, since I’ll get to do things like this every single day!