Saturday, September 6, 2014

Tiki Teaching: Our First AEE 412 Lab

This past week the 2015 cohort experienced our first AEE 412 lab.  Our 412 class is all about the methods of teaching agriculture and includes a lab session each week where we are able to try out some of the lessons we've planned.

Our first session was all about gauging our teaching skills.  We chose a different lesson plan at random and trust me, they were definitely random.  Some of the lessons included juggling, origami, and magical number squares.  My lesson was all about the Polynesian Tiki.

I loved the fact that all of our lessons were really out there; it helped to level the playing field.  We were each teaching something that we were unfamiliar with so our performance was based solely on teaching techniques rather than content knowledge.

My goal was to introduce, teach, and evaluate students on their understanding of the meanings behind different eye shapes of three Polynesian tiki gods.  Overall, I was pleased with my lesson but after reviewing the video that was taken during my lesson, I was able to identify some areas that I would like to improve.

The thing that I noticed immediately was the need for a detailed lesson plan which I did not have.  While sitting in the lab, I realized just a few minutes before I started to teach that I had totally forgot to prepare an interest approach!  How would I teach anything if I couldn't even get my class interested?!  I was able to come up with one on the fly but it was just okay, nothing memorable.  I also took notice to the fact that the questions I was asking the class were relatively low level questions because I was making them up as I went.

Despite being incredibly weird to watch yourself teach, especially the first lesson, reviewing my lesson and experiencing what my students experience was very helpful in identifying some areas of improvement.  I look forward to the second round of the 412 lab, especially since the tiki unit is over.

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