Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Worth Noting

  Yesterday was a good day.  Make that an awesome, anchor me to the ground 'cause I'm gonna float away with elation, good day.  It's strange how things change in a moment.
Yup, that's me ... for now.

So, it's a week before my first teaching block.  I'm faced with drafting a lesson plan for my history class that will also be useful for my first practicum.  And I'm freaking out.  Mostly, it's my inside voice screaming "Egads, forsooth, and Zounds, what shall I do?" but my associate teacher has been privy to many of my concerns.  They depended on the day, but usually could be found on my list of aaaargh:
  1. I don't know how to plan a lesson yet
  2. I don't know what I need to cover
  3. I don't know how to time activities
  4. I don't know how much time to devote to which material
  5. I don't know how (feel free to add anything planning related, it probably fits)
In the back of my mind is Dave Lanovaz's post, "We're only students."  It's one of those posts that I had wanted to comment on but couldn't quite figure out the words.  There was something about the situation that Dave was describing that struck me as odd.  A student centered teacher faced with a group of students minimizing their abilities as students.  Couldn't quite put it together though.

And then Tuesday morning, Bob Mroz pops by to visit our cohort class and deliver a presentation on Note Taking.  He opens with a quick comment about our practica starting in about a week and asks us what we're afraid of right now.  Three guesses what I said (and the first two don't count).  Then he puts on this t-shirt and asks us what kind of fears we have.  Well, as my list above highlights, things look fairly pre-service teacher focused up there.

Between these two items hitting me within a couple days, I realize that I'm worried about an impossible task.  I'm trying to plan and create a student-centered lesson without having a feel for the students ... students who may not even realize what I'm trying to do.  And, I finally smile.  It's not the futile smile of someone who's given up, but that smile of acceptance.  I"m not going to create the perfect series of classes, but I'm gonna try to.  And even if I do create a masterpiece, it might be on the wrong day and I can't control that.  There's no way for me to develop withitness from without, so all I can do is keep trying and eventually I'll figure something out.  And for now, I'm ok with that.  Just please, don't ask me if I still am similarly calm Sunday night.


  1. I'm so glad that you're in a happy place about your teaching block. I totally agree with you: this first placement is about giving it your all but preparing to experience a huge learning curve. In all of my classes, whenever a teacher asked if anyone was nervous about their placements, everyone answered with 'YES'! It's nice to know we're all experiencing these same feelings together. I'm really looking forward to everyone's stories when we get back.

  2. Thanks for popping by Em. I've got to admit that I'm no longer that nervous. Now that I've realized that there's no sense in expecting the impossible of myself, I really can look for improvements as opposed to ideals. I'm gonna stumble, but it's just part of the process. Good luck and have a great time with your placement.