Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Preparing to teach

One of the biggest conversation starters is something like "What do you do to prepare to teach?" Now, granted this could apply to a specific class period or some other time period. But what do YOU do? We each have our rhythms, our patterns, our rituals ... review the material the night before, the week before, the hour before. We want the materials to be fresh and we want to have a fresh approach to the content. How often to we revise the materials? Should the course be revised/updated after each term? Or, is there an inherent revision for each class period?

We prepare for a particular period. Teach that period. Prepare for the next. Do we change based on some events? If we feel something didn't work well, do we take the time to reflect on it and change, when necessary? The hardest thing to do, I believe, is ask ourselves "Can this be better?" If we are genuinely committed to teaching and learning, shouldn't each class period end with some reflective exercise where we ask what worked, what didn't work, and most importantly WHY?

We reflect, almost subconsciously ... but we need to be more deliberate in reflection. How do I prepare to teach? Reflect on what happened, what I hope to happen, and what I have done to prepare.

3 comments:

tsiebold said...

I believe that it is imperative that teachers on all levels have time to reflect togehter. Perhaps one effective way to do this is to form collegial circles.

BrianJ said...

I think teacher reflection is vital. When I taught I use to reflect after each class and asked myself what went well and what did not. I then tried to make adjustments to improve on what did not go well for the period. I believe that having peers watch your lessons and give you feedback would be a huge help. I believe a system like this is used in China. Of course the big questions is where is the time to do this?

BrianJ said...

I believe that teacher reflection is vital for good teaching. When I taught I use to reflect after each class and make changes for the next. I did feel the need for more input from peers on what they thought of my lessons. It would be good to have more peer lesson sessions to get that feedback, but where is the time to do this?

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