“Wit and Wisdom from Teachers Who’ve Been There”

So many of the questions and concerns I had prior to student teaching have already been answered in just the short month I have been in 6th Grade.  Of all the lessons I have gained thus far, I am realizing more and more how adaptive I must be to the ever changing environment of the classroom.  Although I previously spoke of this in a past post, I understand this reality more than ever!  For example, I began a close reading activity with my students last Thursday, anticipating that it would take about three days to complete.  However, what I assumed would take three days has actually stretched into four and half.

Although I taught preschool for over two years prior to student teaching, the environment is completely different, and I am learning some strategies that I could not necessarily use on my younger kiddos.  I am asking questions constantly.  Throughout my teaching I practice using the CFU (check for understanding) method through prompting and questioning to assess student understanding of the material.
After each lesson ends, I ask myself two very important questions:

1.        Did I word my questions in such a way that the students understood what I was asking of them?
2.       Did I prompt thinking among the class without giving away the answers?

One of my biggest struggles is watching my students struggle.  Often when I see they are fumbling over an answer, my instinct is to quickly explain the why’s or how’s of a situation.  However, one crucial element I must keep in mind is that students need to learn through discovery.  I cannot ALWAYS be providing them with the answers.  I want to always clearly state learning objectives for the children, but I must encourage them to think independently and strengthen their critical thinking and inferential skills.

While scanning through the Internet I discovered what appears to be a wonderful book titled, First Year Teacher Wit and Wisdom from Teachers Who’ve Been There edited by Randy Howe.  Just skimming through the first pages, I already see how some of my questions and concerns will be addressed through teacher veterans in the field!  I cannot wait for this book to arrive!  Click here to take a sneak peak…


Ms. Vince

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