Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2014 Student Teachers (#psuaged14) reflect on their Micro Teaching Experience at Central Mountain

A front view of the high school. Photo Creds: Chris Knight,The Patriot-News
A few weeks ago the 2014 student teaching cohort traveled to Central Mountain Area High School to apply what they have been learning throughout the semester. It was an interesting time for most, being able to see what worked and what didn't work, with all the theories and practices we have been learning throughout the semester. During the three day teaching period, we approached the situation recognizing that we had free use of trial and error to see how our theories worked, and if they didn't, we would never have to go back there or see the students again. We have been working a lot this year to have a growth mindset. Part of that is to take what you did well and what you did badly and learn from it. Change the bad in the future and grow from the experience. Nothing is a bad experience; it is always a learning experience that can help push you in the right direction.

As my cohort reflects on our experiences at Central Mountain, here are some of the things that we did well and others that we need to improve on.

Valerie Laub prepares for a class

Meagan Slates was happy with her student teaching experience! To challenge herself, she taught a welding class where students completed a hook project. Meagan started in the classroom the first day to really go over what they were doing and why its important. On the second day, she broke the class into three groups so they would be able to travel around the shop, complete their project in smaller groups and be safer. Meagan demonstrated at each station and asked many questions to make sure that the students really knew what was going on.  She could tell they were getting a little annoyed with all the questions, but she wanted to make sure everyone stayed safe. On the the third day, the students actually got to work at the stations and everything went well. Overall, Meagan was really happy with how her micro teaching experience took place and is excited for her future plans of student teaching. You can read her blog here.

Allison Hoover facilitating an activity outside

Allison Hoover ended her blog with some “concepts for success” such as: to set the stage by creating a felt need for the content, don’t second guess yourself, keep directions clear and concise, and to ask high order questions to get them thinking. She also said "teach for many years.. then maybe you’ll get it down".

I completed student teaching on Wildland Forest Firefighting. I had a class of nine senior boys and really enjoyed working with them. However, I did not keep them engaged enough. It was a very interesting experience as each day the class responded differently.  On the first day they talked too much, while on the second day, a student fell asleep.  On the last day, I had a really awesome bellwork and interest approach but lost their attention as the class went on. I learned many lessons for my future student teaching experience like carrying out lesson plans and teaching from PowerPoints, but especially preparation. Preparation is everything and can really help you out. I was really prepared with the stuff that I had since I brought some equipment that the firefighters really use, but I did not have enough engaging activities and I kept losing my students. However, this is a learning experience and it served its purpose as I learned a lot and I will improve in the future.

My student teaching cohort all had good experiences and learned a lot during our time there. We were able to learn from this experience and change things for our LifeKnowledge lesson at our cooperating school that we are student teaching at. Teaching is one of those things that just takes a while to become good at. It takes a while to come to a point that you feel comfortable and this is something that people really need to keep in mind. You cannot enter the field thinking you will be perfect right away. You need to give yourself room to grow.

To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog!

Jeanne Case
Student Blogger
2014 Dover HS Student Teacher
Twitter: JRose_Case

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