What was a positive highlight in your teaching week?
I effectively led Period 6 on Thursday (block day), a class that I’ve been having some classroom management problems with. At the beginning of class, I used a timer to add up the amount of time it took for students to begin the warm-up activity after the bell rang. Then, I wrote the time (1:20) on the board. I had a little talk with the class about the importance of time and efficiency, adding that they owed me 1:20 at the end of class. Then, I gave them opportunities to “make up” the time to me during each activity. Before each activity, I told them how they could earn back the time (working quietly, listening, not talking over me when I’m talking, etc.). They were very motivated and respectful. It was a very productive class, and my master teacher was impressed!
What was your biggest challenge this week?
Tuesdays are tough for me because of the rough transition from Monday at CSUSM to Tuesday and student teaching. It’s hard because I miss a day of class and then have to jump in and lead the class, carrying on where they left off on Monday. I hope to smooth this out by maybe communicating with my master teacher via e-mail the night before.
What aspect of teaching do you hope to work on or refine next week?
I want to continue working on classroom management, specifically enforcing that students do not talk while I’m talking. The timer tactic discussed above worked very well. I can also move students’ seats, send them out of the room, talk with them after class, and/or call their parents. Anticipating what sorts of problems I will encounter in each class, and how I will enforce consequences ahead of time greatly helped me carry out my plan.
Reflection—Class blog and website at my site:
My master teacher has a website, set up for him by the school, that he has designed for his AP Biology classes (http://www.smusd.org/page/8419). It has the PowerPoint lectures, readings, and assignments. I definitely plan on using a website as an additional resource for my students when I begin teaching my own class next year. At this time, I’ve been designing a biology blog for students and teachers to help organize the information, activities, and videos I have been using in my lesson (www.drrichardsbiology.blogspot.com). This should help me immensely next year when I begin teaching my own classes since I’ve organized every lesson according to unit. I will have greatly reduced lesson planning next year.