Leading up to my lesson, I wasn’t very nervous. I was of the mindset that we were all in the same boat, this being everyone’s first time planning and teaching lesson. That all changed when I was stood at the front of the class with my PowerPoint ready to go, and the class all looking at me, ready to start!
I felt a little more at ease once I had explained the starter activity and everyone had begun to discuss the pictures with their group. It gave me a chance to walk around the class to check progress instead of just standing at the front of the class waiting. Once we had gone through what the groups had circled and addressed any mistakes that had been made, I continued with my lesson.
I had picked out four key aspects of a Christian wedding ceremony to teach to the class. Each slide had some easy-to-read bullet points and a picture to facilitate the learning process. I thought, when I was planning this lesson, that it would take longer to explain all the aspects than it actually did. I think this was partially due to nerves, which meant that I was speaking faster than I should have been, but also because in trying to keep the information accessible, it was a bit too short. However, I now know for next time how long my slides should be, and what to include.
Next, came the part of the lesson where the pupils had to pick an aspect we had gone through, illustrate it, and then basically teach it to their partner. Initially it was going well, but I found that the noise level in the class went up somewhat. This being my first time teaching, I was a little unsure of how to handle it, so I approached the table that was making the noise, and asked how they were getting along with their drawing. I felt that because this was the first time there had been some low-level disruption, I didn’t want to make to big a deal of it, but still let the pupils know that I was aware of the noise they were making. After around 10 minutes, most of the class seemed to have finished their drawings, but it was too early to move onto the peer teaching. I decided that pupils who had finished could choose another aspect of the Christian wedding, and make some bullet points on in so that there were no pupils sat with nothing to do. I then let the class know that they were to finish their drawings or bullet points and teach their partner based on what they had drawn.
The drawback with this drawing and teaching part of the lesson was that the slide that explained what to do did not indicate that the class was to wait until I told them before they started teaching one another. This meant that some pupils had already began their peer teaching before the allotted time, which meant that the task was a little shorter than I would have liked. However, despite this, the class still took away all the information I had intended, and managed to recite this to their peers. One more thing I want to improve for the next time I teach, is the inclusion of different abilities in the classroom. As you can see from my lesson plan, I did not make it a point to include SEN (special educational needs) or G&T (gifted and talented) pupils. This meant that my range of work and difficulty was rather limited, something which I particularly want to focus on improving.
What went well:
- all pupils understood the lesson
- the majority of the class remained on task for the entirety of the lesson
- I used a range of teaching and learning styles throughout my lesson (as opposed to simply standing at the front of the class and talking)
Targets for improvement:
- make sure my lesson is long enough (mine did not last the whole 30 minutes)
- take into account SEN and G&T pupils so that I can prepare work of different difficulty levels
- address the learning objectives/outcomes in my PowerPoint as well as in my plan