Observing Practice: Pros and Cons
What if students don’t like me? What if I forget my planning and ruin the whole lesson? What if I trip and fall flat on my face?
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Lizelle K. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Your First Lesson
What if this and what if that, these are the type of questions that go through a new teacher’s mind before they enter their first classroom. Stepping into a classroom for the first time can be overwhelming and a new teacher can easily feel lost when all the attention in the class falls on them. When studying to become an educator, be it for 3-year olds or 30-year olds, practical exposure to an active teaching environment is essential. The field of education is a theoretical and practical practice where you constantly learn and adapt to the students in front of you. By observing how a lesson in done you will learn that falling flat on your face can be part of a fun and engaging lesson.
Also Read: How Learning Languages Help Me In Teaching
1. Observe and being observed
Observe is where you, the new or inexperienced educator, observe an experienced educator work with a group of students in a classroom setting. This can be done by either being in the class physically or watching a video about a teacher giving a lesson. Between watching a video or physically being in a classroom the latter is always better as you can ask the educator questions to find out why they do certain things in a certain way.
This experience will allow you to see how the educator goes through a lesson plan from start to finish and how they interact with the students during the lesson. Seeing how a lesson is being done can build the educator’s confidence so that when they enter a class, they will have some idea of what to expect. Where possible new teachers need to get exposure to active teaching before they enter the classroom.
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2. Center of Attention
Being observed is where an experienced educator sits in on a lesson that you are teaching, this could be a short practice lesson in the subject you are studying. Being observed has many benefits such as helping you improve on your teaching method and helping you identify areas where you need to focus on improving, like board work or resource creation.
By having an educator observe and evaluate your lesson, you can pinpoint areas where you need to improve and identify areas in your teaching that the students find motivational and build on that. Most experienced educators have gone through trial and error themselves and they will be more than happy to help and share their knowledge.
By observing and being observed and educator can improve themselves greatly and that improvement will make the educator more comfortable in the class. Lifelong learning and education go hand in hand, you are never too old to ask for help or to ask the educator next door if you can observe a lesson to see how they teach a particular concept.
Throughout the educator's career, they will need to learn and adapt to the students in their classroom. Every class has its unique atmosphere and personalities, as an educator, you must find a way to connect and engage with each student so that they can perform their best.
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In summary, observed teaching practice has value as it can boost the confidence of a new educator and it can provide essential classroom experience that is needed to connect and engage with students.
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