Preparing to Present

Engaging an entire classroom of students can always be a challenge. While some courses may have an easier and more enjoyable time covering material like Art and PE, others such as Math, Science, and History tend to be associated with relaying facts and memorizing information until it is time for an assessment. Within my recent studies, I have tried to find ways in which I as a future educator can present the information I am already familiar with while also learning along with my students through intriguing and compelling lesson formats.

When I was a younger student in middle and high school I always felt as if I was following an extremely repetitive schedule in my classes. I would come into class with my backpack, sit down in a seat for about fifty minutes while writing down information from projected slides, and finally at the end get back up and walk towards another lecture room until it was time for me to leave school for the day. While my teachers were genuinely nice people, I never really anticipated that how they taught their lessons would be super influential in my later educational career. Since my main goal as a student back then was to pass classes and get good grades, I never really focused on why and how my professors were directing me and my classmates to learn their material. However, nowadays as an individual who is preparing to become a teacher, I realize how crucial their methods of education were for molding me into a person who can later follow in their footsteps of becoming a supportive instructor. After reading through some online material posted by educators for educators, I have come to recognize some of the momentous practices for enhancing my eventual classroom agenda.

Staying focused within and outside of school is a struggle. With the inclusion of technology, our minds constantly run crazy considering all that is happening to us in the current moment as well as to others, so finding a way to keep students focused and on track is important. There are many times when I find myself working on homework for a few moments and then watching videos on YouTube or TikTok simply because I saw a notification on my phone, so I cannot fully imagine how busy younger students feel now that there are many more online and social platforms to get involved with. In order to manage a large group of students, I will need to utilize methods like ‘bell ringers’, ‘exit tickets’, different modes of critical thinking and inquiry, as well as relate my course material in ways that my students will truly understand. It is always noticeable when there is a difference in relatability between a professor and their classroom, so trying to avoid that by being aware of current trends and news for the generation that I am teaching will be key.

Having a thorough lesson plan for each class that is also loose enough to also allow for student engagement will create a sense of collaboration between me and my future students. Practicing the techniques of creating sensible units now will subsequently prepare me to be an effective instructor when the time comes.