Taking a look at my first week teaching…

Each week we are given written feedback from our mentor as well as a short video clip of us teaching.  It’s often difficult to watch myself teaching— the inner critic comes out to tell me what my weaknesses are or what I could be doing better.  I’ve been working on shining a light into this discomfort, as a way to grow and learn as a whole-life educator.  Here is short write-up about what it was like looking back at my very first video of me teaching.

It’s nearing the end of the IslandWood 10-month program, and therefore time to do some reflection on my very first teaching observation.  While watching myself roll out my very first “Each One Teach One Ethnobotany” lesson a few things jumped out at me.  I did well to set the tone by asking them what they thought of when they thought of an expert, and said that they would have the chance to be one themselves. To make my instructions concise I related the E1T1 lesson to a solo walk experience and used sticks and stones to model the movement of how they would be walking down the trail.  I didn’t spend much time digging into the core of what makes ethnobotany important (that was saved for the debrief), but instead focused on how the activity would unfold.

Throughout my introduction of the E1T1 activity I made an effort to check for understanding.  The style of my check-ins were very much in the style of self-reporting (i.e. gathering some kind of consensus that everyone was following, got it?), which made the introduction feel slightly rushed.  I did some targeted questions towards the end that led me to believe that they were quick to understand how to move down the trail during the activity.  There was a quick release of information during this lesson, but overall it was thorough and if I remember correctly resulted in an insightful debrief at the end.  I have been increasingly more aware of how important scaffolding lessons with prior lessons is (i.e. doing an activity on ethnobotany or a leaf in a bag lesson).  By introducing students to the concept of ethnobotany earlier in the day, it would’ve allowed me to engage with them on the subject more during the onset of the lesson as opposed to the debrief only.



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