Teaching 101 – Lesson #1

I have decided to use my blog to document things that I learn about teaching over the next few weeks.

This past week brought numerous opportunities for me. On Tuesday and Thursday I was given to opportunity to teach Literacy in a grade 9 Advisory class. On Tuesday we taught Main Ideas and Supporting Details through the use of a Prezi and examples. We continued on with this topic by differentiating between Main Ideas and Topics on Thursday, following the same approach of Prezi and examples.
On Wednesday, a classmate and I introduced ourselves to a PAA 9 course and began a unit on Personal Finance. We taught on Wednesday and Thursday, covering needs and wants, prioritizing, income, expenses, and budgeting. Due to the fact that we are only at the school Monday-Thursday, we left an assignment for the students to work on during class on Friday.

Throughout this week I have led two lessons, and supported for other two lessons. During these experiences, I have been taught a number of lessons myself. The first challenge I was faced with, was a student who did not want to participate in anything we had planned. This student was very disruptive and often attracted attention to them self, often providing attitude along the way. Even though I was classmates with students like this in my own education, and my university classes have talked about this, I still felt completely unprepared and had no idea how to handle these situations. Thankfully, any of the classes I teach in always has the regular teacher in the room who helps out with classroom management.

Lesson #1: Classroom management is key.

How do you handle classroom management? Do you prefer to start off the semester stern and ease up, or do you build trust off the start and try to maintain it?


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2 responses to “Teaching 101 – Lesson #1

  1. Hi Amy,
    I have always believed that we have to be purposeful about how we “manage” classrooms. As you move into the profession there will be some who tell you that “management” equals “control”…not true. Classroom management begins with building strong relationships with your students. Yes, it is important to set the tone early on, however, setting a tone and being tough/punitive are two different concepts, so i say build trust right off the bat.

    Good CM is about developing positive teaching and learning environments so quality instruction matters; poor instruction can escalate seemingly insignificant issues into bigger ones. If I were to sum up CM in one word it would be “predictability.” Effective classrooms are the ones where the relationships, routines, and practices are predictable for the students. That consistency builds comfort, that comfort reduces anxiety, which in turn will build their confidence.

    Predictability will lead to confidence and building confident learners is what we should really be after. Confident learners who have grounded optimism can learn anything; anxious students become passive learners. Focus on being “predictable” in order to build their “confidence” and you will always have your focus in the right place. My two cents…

    Good Luck!

    • Thanks for the comment Tom!
      I am definitely learning more everyday that I am in the classroom. Developing a positive teaching and learning environment is key, and I can’t wait to get more experience and to build strong relationships with students.
      I look forward to following you on Twitter and following your blog.

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