From Student to Teacher

Hi! My name is Brittany May, and I am an Elementary Education major at the College of William and Mary. This blog is all about my journey through education... the questions I have and the answers I find, as well as lessons learned along the way, in this never-ending learning process of being a student and becoming a teacher. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Not Just Another Lesson Plan

I've come to realize that lesson-planning is probably what I've struggled with the most in my pre-service teaching experience so far. We just finished a group lesson plan project, and with four of us it took us roughly three hours to plan one lesson! I'm always amazed at the creativity some teachers have for even the most conventional subjects. I recently read through one such incredible lesson plan, and it has really inspired me to think outside the box.

Miguel Guhlin designed a second grade writing lesson plan and posted it in his blog. This is definitely one I can learn from! The way each phase of the lesson builds on the previous one is very well thought out, and I really like how it progresses from modeling, to group collaboration, and finally to individual students attempting it on their own. But what I love most is that the students are learning something without even realizing it. His lesson does a fantastic job of teaching the entire process of developing an idea and writing about it through poetry, but he teaches more than that. He seamlessly incorporates blogging with the content of the lesson, and essentially turns his students into successful bloggers! This is such a cool idea! I think kids would really latch on to this with enthusiasm. It serves as a wonderful tool for effectively teaching the content. I admire how he instructs his students to give positive feedback when they share their poems with the class. But seeing your own work published online and receiving feedback from others through comments would be an even bigger "pat on the back". This lesson plan really opened my eyes to the amazing possibilities lesson plans can create, and I think teachers with ideas as cool as this deserve their own "pat on the back".

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Back to School

Classes have begun, and while I was eager to be back on a college campus, it's even more fun to be back to school in a first grade classroom! The beginning of our semester has been somewhat of a whirlwind, but I find that being thrown right into everything makes it that much more exciting.

The first day of class our professors mentioned that in addition to observing in the classroom, we would also be teaching. My first reaction was, "I'm not ready for this!". However, my excitement grew and my nervousness subsided (somewhat) as we explored the idea more. My first day back in my practicum with first grade was met with great anticipation. I was so anxious to meet the new students, learn more from my teacher, and get my feet wet in the classroom. I did more than get my feet wet that day...

Around 10:30 that morning, an announcement was made that a major water line in the county was broken, and the school was without water. As a result, all students were to be dismissed as soon as their parents could be reached. My teacher asked me to help by either calling all the parents or by taking over and reading to the class and carrying on with their morning routine. I chose to read the book and be with the class. I was kind of surprised and taken back with my own answer... what about the "I'm not ready for this!"? It was my first day back, and instead of gradually easing into the role of "teacher" like I had anticipated, I sort of dove right in. It might sound silly, but I sort of shocked myself. And the funny thing is, it was the best experience I've had in the classroom yet! It felt so natural, and what's more important, it proved to me that I am ready for this. I still have so much to learn, but this was just the experience I needed to gain the confidence that I can do it. So here we go... first grade, full speed ahead, and no turning back!