November 09, 2015

Student Life | Teaching for the First Time.

Finding the path you wish to walk upon for the rest of your life is a choice that changes all the time. We never truly know where we’re going to end up but it’s fun to find out. At times, the most challenging question to be asked is; What do you want to do with your life?

Being somewhat of an OCD perfectionist, I’ve always had my career planned. I knew exactly what I was doing and what position I would like to retain in the end. However, life has a peculiar way of changing that path. For the last decade, I have gone from occupation to occupation and I have loved every second of each. Yet, here I am, still not quite sure about where I wish to end up.

What I’ve learnt from applying myself to different fields is that experience is everything. Experience is what will take you to that final destination – and, most likely, its one you weren’t expecting.

I’ve never truly understood the fascination with teaching as an occupation. In all honesty, I thought it was rather tedious. I didn’t understand why my own sister had decided to go into the profession.

And then…then, I tried my hand at it myself.

I became an amateur assistant for one of my classes and I found that, in actuality, I really enjoyed it! The ability to enthuse your own enthusiasm for a subject into someone else is incredibly satisfying. After discussing with my lecturers, I was encouraged to take on the role of ‘teacher’ for a class.

In recent times, I have found that my passion is not only within the field of the English Language and Literature but also in Philosophy. Having been studying both of the subjects vigorously, I decided to teach my own philosophy class.




MY THOUGHTS

I do not know how my sister can lesson plan every single day without having her brain fried with each session. Although I’m a lover of planning, I was not prepared for the extent of time which I would have to devote myself to planning.

It’s trying because you have to remember that you have multiple learning styles to accommodate. This accommodation must be applied in every area – from the activities, discussions, and the presentation itself. You’ve got to remember that everyone is individual in learning style, mentality, and understanding so it’s important that you know what you are teaching to make sure your students understand you fully and can rest knowing that they can look back at the subject and it can be deemed a “no-brainer.”

To further my planning, I incorporated a handout of the presentation and a Feedback Form so that my teaching could be fully assessed and can aid me in understanding the quality of my performance. So when it came to the lesson itself, I was incredibly nervous. I knew these people and knew that they would be analysing me with great scrutiny. Luckily for me, my anxiety tends to induce a form of “word vomit” which surprisingly carried me through the class.

I really enjoyed being able to engage with the students and watch with fascination as my words evoked a spontaneous discussion. I believe one of the things I have learnt is that I need to make sure that, if I am using a PowerPoint presentation, I need to be considerate of readability. I also wished I had fused more activities to further the engagement of the class and allow an independent learning space.


Overall, for my first class, I think I did surprisingly well! It is fair to say that I will be returning as a teacher in future. 

WHAT MY STUDENTS THOUGHT


I had said to my fellow students as I handed out the feedback forms that I wished them to be as critical as possible so I knew where I was excelling and where I need to improve.

100% of Students believed the objectives were established and met.

98% of Students believed the delivery of the lesson was clear and effective.

100% of Students believed the handouts were useful to follow the lesson.

100% of Students believed I accommodated their learning style.

43% of Students wanted more independent working sectors within the lesson.

26% of Students wanted the presentation to be more clear in appearance.

33% of Students admitted that, at times, they got confused.

96% of Students were pleased that I took time to clarify and rectify confusion.

100% of Students believed I maintained confidence in my performance.

100% of Students were pleased with the lesson overall.

I was rather shocked by the results for my first lesson as a teacher. The students made sure to note where I could improve - namely, exampling too many - but were resounding in the fact they had enjoyed the session.

I'd like to thank my lecturer for allowing me to do the session as well as joining other faculty in encouraging me to do so and I would like to thank my fellow students for being excellent students and truly helping me experience the life of a teacher.


This was a wonderful learning curve - transferring from student to teacher 
and I can't wait to explore the path of teaching more.


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