Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Simulated teaching is done!

After observing my coursemates struggling on their simulated teaching, my turn was up on 26th March. I started creating my set induction and exercises at 10 AM when my turn was at 3.00 PM. I finished everything at 2.00 PM and went for photocopy at Sri Serdang and arrived to the tutorial class at 5 PM. After 5 of my coursemates have presented their teaching, Miss Kasthoori call upon my name for the last. I had difficulties at first with the audio system of the PC in the class then Jeremy offered his help and it was fine as usual. For my set induction, I showed the students a video of a scene taken from Alexander film where Alexander the Great leads his fighting men in a battle field against the Persians. The purpose of showing the video was to show the characteristics of a leader (king) that Alexander the Great has when fighting against his enemies. After 5 minutes, I asked the students’ thoughts about the video and a few of them gave me the characteristics that they could see from Alexander such as powerful, courageous, and fearful. Then, I related the video to my lesson which was The Characteristics of Oedipus the King.

After that, I distributed the handouts to the whole class and began my lesson (nervously). For my Pre-Reading stage, I gave them an extract taken from Scene 1 and instructed them to highlight the characteristics they could find in Oedipus and Teiresias when I read the extract aloud. Next for the While-Reading stage (Task 1), they had to list down the characteristics they’ve highlighted in the extract in a box provided. Then, they had to state the connotation of each word. For the While-Reading Task 2, they had to match phrases taken from the extract and match them to the correct characteristics. I called upon a few students to write their answers on the board and they seemed to understand the instructions well and gave the correct answers. Lastly, for the Post-Reading stage, they had to write an essay based of their opinion about the statement Sophocles does not portray good characteristics of a king in Teiresias in about 120 words. I asked them to complete the task at home and then I finished my lesson.

Miss Kasthoori commented on my teaching as the first. She said my set induction was good but the duration was a bit too long. For my Pre-Reading and While-Reading, she said my teaching was good but she said I did not look at the students while teaching. Well, I do agree with her because I really did not look at the students because I was busy writing the answers on the board. Lastly, she said she really liked my Post-Reading task because it challenges the students’ understanding towards my lesson. That’s all she commented about my teaching. It was good but could be improved.

Similarity & Differences between Simulated Teaching and the Real Teaching

In my opinion, simulated teaching does have its similarity and differences with real teaching. In terms of similarity, teachers in schools would relate certain things to the story in a way to introduce the story to the students. There are some differences as well. In simulated teaching, we encourage students to discover things but in schools, teachers usually spoon-fed the students. In schools, teacher would go straight to the teaching of the content. Unlike simulated teaching, where we ask the students to highlight or identify certain things from the text. Besides that, the classroom environment is different. In simulated teaching, students are more cooperative since they are my course mates. However, that is not the case in real-life teaching. Students can be uncooperative so teacher needs to handle the class effectively and make it more enjoyable. So, in real-life scenario, teaching is quite different than simulated teaching. However, simulated serves as a good platform for a teacher-to-be like me as a preparation before entering the real classroom.

The Strengths in My Simulated Teaching

There are a few strengths that I myself have indentified from my simulated teaching as well as from Miss Kasthoori’s comments. First, my voice projection was loud and clear. Students had no problem hearing my instructions because of my voice projection. Apart from that, they also seemed to pay more attention when I rose up my voice. My set induction was also attractive and appealing. The video of Alexander the Great fighting in a battle field made the students interested to learn my lesson Miss Kasthoori liked the way I introduced and connected the video to the lesson which was teaching about the characteristics of Oedipus the King. Miss Kasthoori also commented on the task I created for my Post-Reading activity and she said it was really good because it challenged the student’s level of understanding and made them appreciate the play (Oedipus Rex) more. I think the way I involved the students in my lesson was also effective because I asked them to come forward and write the answers on the board rather than asking them to just stand up and voice out the answers to the whole class. The way I involved them in my lesson helped them to build their confidence and made my simulated teaching more effective. I think in my future simulated teaching, I would maintain my strengths to make my lesson effective and more enjoyable to the students.

The Weaknesses in My Simulated Teaching

There are a few weaknesses that could see in my simulated teaching based from the peer evaluations given by my course mates and the comments given by Miss Kasthoori. First, the video for my set induction was a bit too long. The duration of the video should’ve been for about 3 minutes only but then the video played for 4 minutes and it affected my set induction a bit. My language was also not too interactive. Students could detect some of my grammar inaccuracies and pronunciation. Apart from that, I did not approach the students during the While-Reading activities. Miss Kasthoori said I need to approach the students and guide them through the activities because they might struggle to complete the tasks due to their level of proficiency. Miss Kasthoori also commented on the way I taught in front of the class. I didn’t really look at the students when I did my explanations because I was reading the appendix and busy writing the answers on the board. She said, the lesson should’ve been student-centred so that they could understand and enjoy the lesson better. I think the reasons of my weaknesses are the lack of preparation and I was rushing to finish my lesson within 40 minutes. So in my future simulated teaching, I will make sure that I am physically and mentally prepared so that I would not commit do the same mistakes again.

If I Were to Deliver the Similar Lesson Again

If I were to deliver the similar lesson again, I would make some changes for it. I think that I could have done better with more attractive set induction to introduce my lesson and make adjustment on the way I present my teaching. I would not exceed the 5 minutes provided for my set induction so I would use a video which its duration is less than 3 minutes. Apart from that, I would also project my voice louder than before so that students could understand my instructions better. I would approach the students and guide them throughout the activities so that they would not struggle and find the tasks too challenging.

I would also make sure my lesson is student-centred by facing them when I teach so that they could understand the lesson better through my explanations. I would also improve my grammar accuracies and make my language more interactive than before. As for the activities, I would make sure they are within the students’ ability, relevant and connected to the lesson. Lastly, I would be more prepared in the future so that I would not rush and do the same mistakes all over again because if I am fully prepared, I would be more confident to present my simulated teaching. The peer evaluations and comments given by my course mates and Miss Kasthoori have made me realize that there’s always a room for improvement and I hope I would be able to overcome my weaknesses in my future simulated teaching.

Questions I Still Have Regarding My Simulated Teaching

After I have presented my simulated teaching and saw my course mates presented theirs, I have only 1 question regarding my simulated teaching. The question is, do I have to distribute the worksheets all at once or do I have to distribute them according to the sequence of stages? Throughout my observation of my course mates’ simulated teaching, I could see majority of us distributed the Pre-Reading, While-Reading and Post-Reading worksheets all at once after they introduced their lesson. However, I didn’t do the same thing. After I did my set induction and introduced my lesson, I distributed the Pre-Reading worksheet first then I asked the students to complete the task. Then, when I did the discussion on the answers, I continued my lesson by distributing the While-Reading worksheets and let them complete the tasks within the time given. Lastly in the last few minutes of my lesson, I distributed the Post-Reading worksheet and asked the students to complete the task at home. The reason why I didn’t distribute the worksheets all at once is because I want the students to fully understand the lesson first. I wanted to give the students time to complete the Pre-Reading task first because it serves as an introduction of the play. Then, the students can concentrate on the While-Reading activities after they have understood what the play is all about. If I reflect upon my simulated teaching for my poetry class, we are not allowed to distribute the worksheets all at once. We need to distribute the worksheets according to the sequence of the stages. Therefore, to resolve this question, I think I would ask the question first before I deliver my simulated teaching in the next semester and I hope the lecturer/tutor could help me with the answer.

Does Blogging Contribute Towards My Learning in This Course?

Yes, blogging does contribute towards my learning of EDU3217. Having a blog helps me to put my reflections into words and a good way to express my opinions about certain topics regarding my learning process of this course. Blog serves as a platform for me is to state my opinions and questions. Another thing I like about blog is I can read my course mates’ views and opinions. Their views also contribute greatly because their views me to understand better about the artistic world of theatre and also help me to appreciate theatre more. Besides that, I can also view my course mates’ blogs. Their thoughts are different than mine and I am inspired by their opinions and feelings towards the course and lessons. I would like to thank Dr. Edwin for the idea of having a blog to express our thoughts and views about the lesson and also the plays we need to read and analyse in this course. Will I continue blogging after this even though the semester is coming to its end? Apparently yes. Maybe I would continue blogging about my experiences on watching local plays or watching movies at the cinema. I would not stop blogging because blogging is really fun. On 19th April, I will be watching the play Air Con at KLPAC and Dr. Edwin shall be there. I’m so looking forward to watch the play after I read the synopsis and heard the positive buzzes about the play. I hope my journey to watch the play would be successful and fun and I’m looking forward to do a blogging about it. Wish me luck~!

1 comment:

  1. Dude, that was nice. I also done with my simulated teaching. about the comments, Miss Kasthoori said almost the same with yours. except she commented on my activities. i did about the changes of Oedipus in the early and later scene. she said that was brave. because I'm ready to teach about the whole play. but I'm quite depressed about my set induction. i have no idea on what to do. so i did like what others did. show a picture of a king. sorry don't have enough time dude, have to go.