Week 3: Co teaching

This Wednesday I had my first co teaching experience.  It went really well and I think I did a good job. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be once I actually got in there, but was more stressed the whole day leading up to it. As I co teach and teach on my own more and more I am hoping that the daylong stress out will shrink away. I definitely think that what helped me be less nervous about the actual presentation was the preparation I put in beforehand.  I was demoing Scout and I knew exactly where I was going to go with it and why and what I was going to show at each stop. I know some people wing their searches and I would like to get their eventually, but I am not there yet. I think that they are able to do that because they have nailed down what they are looking for and what they want to explain to the class and I think for now incorporating that into my planning is helping me get there.  The big struggle for me that I need to work on is remaining focused and teaching when some of the students are talking to each other. That tends to be a big distraction for me and throws me off, but I’m not sure what to do about it besides work on that within myself. It’s not like I can “discipline” someone else’s class. Overall it was a really great experience and I feel better now that I know I won’t choke in front of a group.

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.

Week 1: Preparing a Demo

This week I prepared a five minute demo of Scout. This was my first experience taking my knowledge of searching and turning it into a presentation to teach others those same tools. I think it was a great way to start off the semester. The way in which I succeeded the most was in carrying out my plan. When I was presenting I feel that I exude confidence in what I was saying and like a professional, not just someone giving a presentation in class. The actual preparation and knowing what and how to show students needed some work. I received comments about being aware of not showing them some of the more advanced skill sets that I have learned quite yet for fear of confusing people and throwing them off, which is advice I completely understand and will try to keep in mind for the future. I also need to focus on helpful aspects of what I am showing them besides just searching methods, although that is still the priority. I definitely have a long way to go, but I did not start out as the worst possible version of myself either. Not starting at the very bottom is a great confidence booster to push me off into the rest of the semester.