Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Teaching Paradox

Teaching is scary. At least doing it for the first couple of times is. You can't tell what a group of people are thinking or what they are going to say or ask. You start thinking, do I know enough to answer every question, what do I do if my information is inaccurate and I didn't catch it? At the same time it is exciting, you get to talk and explain new things you probably didn't know before that are to some degree interesting. After teaching TOK about sensory perception, I found out how much I like to answer people's questions and telling stories. I realized teaching to learn was also a method of learning how to teach. The overall class period had its ups and downs, like every thing does, but I'd like to do it again and get better at it.

The strength of our lesson was our ability to provoke interesting discussion among our peers. The usage of interactive video media, discussion questions, and personal stories made the lesson feel more personal to each individual. The more you feel a connection with the people teaching, your peers, and the topic, the more you want to engage. That's because it gets rid of anyone feeling out of place since they might not know much on new the material. Feeling uncomfortable makes you more reluctant to participate. It was comfortable, which is important for an effective learning environment. Even I learned new things because everyone decided to speak.

The weakest points were my group's ability to explain things and getting the class to stop with the side conversations and excessive talking. The weakness in explaining things could've been because of nervousness but I know that if I spent a little more time on my topic, I might've been able to explain things more thoroughly when someone had a question. I know no one practiced explaining their slide alone to themselves, to make sure that they could explain stuff effectively and tersely. You could tell with the redundancy of statements and persistent usage of pause fillers. If a little more perpetration went into the presentation it could've gone smoother. If we provided a work sheet for answering questions during the interactive and enforced a raise your hand policy before staring, minimization of convoluted answers and discussion, could've been achieved.

If given the opportunity, next time, I'd provide an outline paper because the previous groups did. I'm guessing now everyone has their TOK Ways Of Knowing  notes in two different places. I'd also drop the end of our lesson and reconstruct it. It didn't wrap up the discussion well, it was just a bunch of people talking over each other Ultimately, teaching the class was a great learning experience and it made way for new personal improvements I now recognize, and can prepare for when given later interactive projects.

1 comment:

  1. Great reflection on the challenges of teaching. I especially like your points about collaboration, and about how teaching makes you understand and learn things in a different way. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    As you know, The problem of getting everyone having ONE conversation is a problem that even I continue to have. On the one hand, it's good that your presentation is raising questions and getting people talking. On the other hand, NOBODY GAINS through tiny conversations. Even if you don't institute a "raise hands" policy, "maybe a "call on people" Policy would work. Eventually, it would be good for us all to figure out how to have a class conversation and respect each other.