Only a half week left on the job! Last Friday was my last day standing in front of the class and facilitating, however, I am still helping the 7th graders as they prepare for the contextual learning share day.
Looking back, I’d say the hardest part of my job was the classroom management aspect. I could always get the students to quiet down and start their work, but I would have trouble getting them to sustain the silence for a long time without constantly telling them to quiet down again. However, that was only one bump on a rather smooth ride! All the students journaled constantly during the three weeks and the students with the weakest journals at the beginning showed a lot of improvement at the end! During the three weeks, the students also had to complete public blog posts as well as movies for each CL activity they completed. At the end of the three weeks, all the public blog posts were turned in and all the movies were completed (they also did an amazing job with these)! I’m really proud of my students for doing such a great job, it was amazing to watch the movies and read through the blog posts to see how much everybody had learned!
On Friday, the last day of CL, I had the opportunity to teach a 2-hour lesson on public speaking! I spent the whole week researching and preparing for the lesson. I decided I was going to teach the students three things: Speech structure, rhetorical devices, and speaking tips. I wanted to be the lesson as interactive as possible so I structured the 2 hours around varying public speaking activities. An interesting aspect of the lesson was the fact that it was going to take place on a stage to give the students an extra sense of public speaking. The first half of the lesson went well, the kids enjoyed the activities and they really seemed to be picking up tips and tricks I was teaching them. The second half of the lesson was a little bumpier than the first. I wanted to challenge the kids a little so I incorporated some improvisational aspects into the lesson and this is where the bumps came. In the last 30 minutes, the students started to disengage and turn off, however, there were still a few students who stayed engaged the whole time. I’d say the students just lost their motivation. At the end, I felt disheartened that I didn’t knock the lesson out of the park, but the other teachers reassured me you don’t become a teacher without failing a lesson! If I were to fix one aspect of the lesson it would have been to change the last impromptu exercise into something more interactive for all the students.