Week 2: Readings and Observation

This week I started my observations. I have been in classes receiving this kind of instruction before, but being apart, an observer, was very interesting and helpful. I found myself watching the students as much as the instructors and that turned out to be just as informative. The real struggle that I am seeing is the fact that the instructors only want to help the students get the concepts, but it’s hard to determine if they are or not. I suppose this is a struggle for all forms of teaching. Do you focus on trust? Do you trust that you have prepared this material in a way that they can understand, and trust that they are focusing and learning? Or do you put a lot of energy into engaging them to be vocal, constantly gauging whether or not they are understanding?

The other thing that really caused me to think this week was the reading. This book chapter talked a lot about how the personal things in the instructor’s life actually have a huge impact on the student’s experience. I found it to be both helpful and unhelpful. It was expressing how having confidence in yourself and inner peace would cause your teaching to improve. Well, that is great, but everyone is trying to achieve those things anyway, having one more reason why they are good things isn’t actually going to help someone achieve them. However, having that extra motivation to be sure of yourself while in front of a crowd can be powerful, and having something tell you that you have a teaching style that is all your own, and trying to copy someone else’s is just not going to work for you was very helpful too.

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