Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Experience of Micro Teaching

Today was big day for me as it was my turn for micro teaching. It was indeed an experience to feel what is was like to handle a class with a bunch of uncooperative students. The following are my experiences:

1) Instruction

It was initially easy to command the class as i lay down the ground rules as the the rules and routines that were in force. however as the lesson progress and the students became restless, the class was getting a little out of hand. Thus i felt giving instruction rather tedious towards the later part of the class.

2) Class management

I felt the class exagerated a bit towards the end by asking irrelevant questions and acting rowdy and uninterested. Personally i feel an express class would not succumb to such unruly behaviour. This is from my short contract teaching experience. And the students in an express class will take harsh words from the teacher seriously and will try to behave in the future. To find someone sleeping outrightly is also an uncommon scene. Thus i think we have to make the classroom managment scenerio more realistic to suit the level we are taking. Otherwise everyone is out to get even with the next 'teacher' by behaving as badly as possible.

3) Relevance of Micro Teaching

I felt the experience is suitable to prepare us for classroom managment issues. In other words, how to tackle real life classrooom issues. However i have yet to see the relevance of this approach as far as teaching geography is concern. I feel we should focus more on strategies and methods of conducting a geography lesson in class, the effective way, rather than focusing purely on behavioural aspects. The latter is definitely beneficial however, without a good background of the subject and effective delivery modes, little will be achieved just by tackling classroom managment issues. I hope this view could be discussed further in class.

Well i look forward to further comments on my strenghts and weaknesses, so that i can improve myself.


Blogger jurong1 said...

thank you very much for being so prompt in documenting your reflections and learning points - it's a good habit worth nurturing :-)
my take on two of the points you've raised - first, the sleeping in class. the authenticity of the behavioural issues raised is fairly contextually specific, i agree. but do note that at least one of the persons who modelled sleeping in class was a guest, from a real Express class from a neighbourhood school, so (1) he would have had no vested interest in making life unduly difficult for you and (2) would have been acting within his own frames of reference and experience of peer behaviour.
second point, the relevance of our microteaching sessions to geog. i know it is easy to get distracted by the management aspects of the sessions. i have been monitoring that too. i have not intervened because i feel that each session continues to turn up rich seams of discussion topics. more important than even that, it allows us to be exposed to a wide variety of teaching strategies, and the advantages, disadvantages, affordances and disaffordances of each of these strategies. by learning experientially (much like your lesson today), i suspect that many of us are internalising the pitfalls, pros and cons of these strategies and techniques far, far more effectively than were we to have a more didactic form of instruction. thinking back to what we have covered so far, we have had first-hand experiences and discussions on the use of the following technologies, strategies and skills, which are all of direct relevance to the geography teacher: photographs, notes, questioning, crosswords, powerpoint slides, the whiteboard, groupwork in expert groups, and the conduct of realia-based experiments; not to mention the fairly casual and transparent infusions of technology for learning such as video, VR, blogs and wikis. by itself, this is an impressive and imaginative list which is testament to the tremendous creativity of our team as a whole. what's more, we've examined this list through the lenses of both behaviourism and social constructivism. to summarise, i think a crucial point that we should not miss is that while we might come to class with the best laid plans, much would go to waste should we not be able to engage and sustain the attention of forty different learners simultaneously and for up to an hour or more. it is at the nexus of theory and practice that true teaching and learning take place :-)

August 31, 2004 at 8:45 AM


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