Darin Janssen’s Weblog

Pre-intern Block

I was supposed to post a reflection at the end of each week of my block, but I have been so busy that I totally forgot about last weeks.  I will discuss both weeks in one.

My first week was okay but I did have some problems.  I am going to start with the blogging.  My first day was an introduction to blogging and it went good.  The kids were extremely excited about the blog and are having a lot of fun creating their stories.  At the end of the first week I realized that we just did not have enough time for the blogging.  I only had fifteen minutes per day for the kids to review the story and then write their additions to the story and this was just not enough time.  I talked to Mrs. Walker and she said that I could ask the six kids I was blogging with per day if they would like to stay in at recess; this would give them half an hour worth of blogging time.

I am teaching a language arts unit on stories to learn from.  We are not only answering questions about the stories but also figuring out what the lessons are that the stories are trying to teach.  By the end of the second lesson, which was day three, I realized that I had started to quickly with the students and was expecting more than they could do without really modeling it for them.  I guess you could say I learned the hard way that I have to teach them first exactly what I want and model it for them not just tell them what I want.  I ended the four-day week with a teacher in role drama based of “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs”.  The drama went very well and the kids enjoyed it.  The only down fall was that I ran out of time and was not able to do the tableau with the students.  I was upset about this because I was going to film them and put them up on the blog.  I know now to plan more time next time.  Because the kids were not getting what I was trying to teach, what I had planned for week two was not going to work so I had to re-plan the whole second week.  I was upset and questioning if I could even do the job because not only were the students not getting it, but I was also not finishing my lessons.  Between the mental and physical exhaustion at the end of the day and the late nights making adjustments to my lessons I was on the verge of breaking down.

I must look at the positives of the week though.  The kids are loving the blogging and the stories are turning out better then I imagined, and I stepped completely out side of my personal comfort zone to do the teacher in role drama and it went well.  Andrea told me after that my voice was even shaking at the beginning of the drama; I was crapping myself at that point though!

Week two started with a review of the previous weeks lessons.  I was having some problems with my pacing and was not able to make it through my lesson again.  At the same time I was also having classroom management issues.  This added to my frustration and I continued to question my teaching abilities.

Tuesday was stories on video day.  I had three aboriginal trickster tales that I wanted to get through with the kids.  The videos were very short and they only needed to answer three or four questions per video.  I planned the crap out of the lesson; I did not want to feel like a failure after another lesson.  The videos helped to keep the interest of the students and we went through the questions together so that they knew exactly what I was looking for.  The lesson went very well.  I was in need of a successful lesson to build up my confidence again; it really did help me refocus.

Now that my confidence was built back up a bit I felt that I could actually accomplish the jigsaw activity I had planned for the next two days.  Let me start out by saying that we had indoor recess everyday so far this week.  Day one of the jigsaw went not too bad.  Day two was a different story.  My lesson ended up being split before and after recess.  Before recess was a complete management disaster.  After recess I regrouped, made some adjustments and told the kids that if things started to get like they were before recess I was going to pull the plug and direct teach them the information.  They lasted fifteen minutes and I pulled the plug.  I told them sorry but it just was not working.  I tried something knew and there was no way it was going to work that day.  The lesson did fail, but I did learn a lot from it.  I also thought of many ways to make adjustments for next time.  I was also very happy that I was me that was the more critical about the lesson than Mrs. Walker.  It almost looked like she was laughing at me as my lesson was sinking.  I told her the same thing I told the kids; I tried something new and if just did not work today.

Positive sides of this week.  Blogging is going great (other than the one day with no internet), I do not feel like a failure as a teacher, and I tried something new and lived to talk and laugh about it.  I hope that next week will end on a positive note as well.

Darin

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March 15, 2009 - Posted by | EPS 255, Pre-internship

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