Winter Practicum Report 2: Don’t Give Up

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by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

I mentioned in my Preparing for My Winter Practicum blog post that I will be teaching Speeches, Math and Religion during this practicum. For this practicum, I am expected to create a unit plan. My AT and I decided that I would create a unit plan for the Speeches. We also planned to gradually release the responsibilities to these subjects week by week. So the first week, I was responsible for doing the Speeches Unit. This week I had to start the Area unit in Math. Finally next week, I will continue both of those units and take on the religion unit. In total that is three unit plans in 4 weeks!

Aside from the awkward transition into the classroom during Week 1, I thought my lessons for my Speeches Unit went well. It gave me confidence in teaching the Area Unit…or so I thought.

Man, did I struggle this week with the Area Unit. As I said in the last post, I tried to prepare all my lessons on the weekend, which I did. But I didn’t for see any barriers when creating my lessons. Please learn from my mistake, and visualize your lessons before implementing your lessons. Think about prior knowledge, accommodations and errors that frequently happen. I made the mistake of not doing all these things and made myself confused and even worse, I made my students confused.

I was used to creating Math lessons for my Grade 3’s during my last practicum the night before, or even the morning of. The lessons were obviously more simple and required less steps because they were younger. I did not realize how sophisticated the Math curriculum was in Grade 6.

One of the best pieces of advice I received from my AT this week was to admit you are wrong with the students. You are only human and you made a mistake. Don’t dwell on it, provide additional support for the follow up lesson and show your students you are human. Students need to see that you made a mistake, you picked yourself right up and didn’t give up. If we expect students to model our behaviours and attitudes, why don’t we exemplify how to pick ourselves up and admit when we are wrong.

Lets hope the next week goes better! Until next Friday, my countdown is 2 weeks done and 2 more to go!

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