Rookie Year: Day 65

I had to post a midday reminder which consisted entirely of what I repeated to myself while driving to work this morning and not feeling like coming in to teach.

The first year is difficult for everyone and I am not the exception.

Although actually today wasn’t too difficult because it was Monday and on Monday we do notes. (Wednesdays too.) But this worried me a little. I am pretty good at getting my students to be quiet and not interrupt while I lecture from the whiteboard or a powerpoint. I say pretty good because some days are better than others. However it’s relatively easy to do this. I know when someone is off task because they are talking. During notes its mostly me talking with frequent questions where the students raise their hands. There isn’t a lot of ambiguity there. Where I struggle is in every other area. I don’t want to lecture every day and I don’t believe it would be beneficial. My students need time to work and practice and ask questions and struggle with tasks. It is here that I am weak. I have taught them how to behave during notes but I did not do a good job this semester of teaching what good individual and group work looks like. I tried and I think I subconsciously gave up. Instead I just kept giving group and individual assignments and then got frustrated with my classes when they didn’t do what I wanted them to do. This has been particularly frustrating because a majority of what we do in class is not the traditional lecture. Figuring out how to teach students to work well in this second context will be a key to succeeding next semester.

Thanks for reading.

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