Being the GTA in the Classroom

On September 12th, I had my first co-teaching session with Brett for one of my instruction classes and I must say that I loved it! I will be honest and say that I did not expect this to be my first reaction. I am the type of person to plan for the worst and hope for the best. This was my strategy for this first class. I mentally began to prepare for a whole class of scenarios that never came to life while hoping that this session was an effective learning time for the students. I had fully expected to be nervous in front of the class because I always get nervous for public speaking but for me, something strange occurred as I saw that students wonder into the classroom. I felt a sense of calm fall over me and as I got ready to start the class I felt a wave of excitement wash over as well. These two experiences have never really come hand in hand to me before and pushed many of my fears aside. This moment made my realize just how much I enjoy teaching! It also made my realize that I want to do my best always so this caused me reflect closely upon the instruction class.

I decided to look for one thing that I feel that I did really well on and one area that I need to improve upon. I felt that the area I was best for this first session was getting the classes attention right at the beginning of class and keeping it for the duration. To do this I used the whiteboard and used active learning by asking questions to get the class thinking and moving. I found this to be one of the best parts because of the interactivity as well as it was just fun.

It was also in this same area that I found where I need some improvement. As the students were defining their search terms on the board, their search terms where not necessarily matching up with some of the examples that I prepared and so I found myself guiding them in the direction that I thought we should go. I realized later that might not have been the best way and that I need to listen more and pay attention the mood of the class. I also need to not be afraid to move away from my script and improvise a little more because as I have learned each class has its own mind and personality and like anything that complex it can change on a moments notice. As the teacher, I have to roll with the punches! I fully expect that time and experience will help me in my endeavor.

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