I jumped into my pre-internship with both feet and ready to change the world! I believed that I would develop ‘thee BEST’ lesson plans my co-operating teacher had ever seen, bring in the latest ‘lingo’, straight from the brilliant minds at the University! Hey, at least I started out with a positive attitude and the right ideas! One of my targets for pre-internship was to use different teaching strategies within my lessons that I taught. The reasoning behind this was to try and touch base with all the students in the classroom and all of the various learning abilities of the students.
I was with a different co-op teacher each week and therefore, my subjects changed as well but the experience was one of a typical rural community. I know that as I return home to start my teaching career that I may not be teaching in my major and minor that I studied at university. My first lesson plan in a English B20 class I used a video clip on YouTube, a think-pair-share, group discussion and exit slips. At least that’s what was on paper to do! I quickly learned that you can’t use to many teaching strategies and expect them all to work into a 50 minute lesson. In the back of my mind I remember thinking, KISS (keep it simple stupid)! I was expecting to engage all learning abilities in the various activities but didn’t take time to think if they were actually learning anything. Not only that, I knew better than to try and do that. I was more worried about teaching the content, than I was about teaching the students. This was one of those Oprah, AHA moments. I didn’t know the students and how they learned, why was I trying to force this on them in one class. My co-operating teacher was great and jokingly told me I could use my ideas for this lesson and spread them out for a week of classes. So, that’s what I did and it worked great and was less stressful.
By the end of the week and with help from my co-operating teacher and the students I was understanding what type of different teaching strategies I could use for this class of students. I realized I don’t have to change the strategies every day if they are working for those students. As a teacher you begin to understand that you need to stick with what works for the students because the next class that you teach may have totally different learning abilities. Something else that I learned to implement into different teaching strategies is to take events going on around the students and to try and bring them into the classroom. I did this with a news story that related to what the students were learning about and I was amazed at how all the students in the class not only had something to say about the issue but were totally engaged in the entire lesson. One of our professors had said, if you can make the learning relevant to the student they will be more involved in their own learning. I know that I will definitely use this teaching strategy again as I witnessed the benefits of all the students in the class.