Monday, May 7, 2007

Demo Lesson

I had my first demo lesson today at a middle school in Brooklyn. I don't think it went terribly, but I was concerned about pacing and how to draw in the 6th Graders I would be teaching. Since I was asked to develop a lesson about writing, I developed a lesson based on found poetry and used a few selections from Aesop's Fables (they're short and in the public domain, so I didn't have to worry about copyright protection). The assistant principal, Ms. A., observed, and had some good things to say about the lesson plan (good choice on the selection of literature; interesting idea with the "found poetry"; I had them writing; good for a springboard into a unit about poetry; among other things) and some helpful things to help improve (generally speaking, the implementation and modeling could better, which is something one tends to get better at only with practice in the classroom). Ms. A. was straightforward, but not harsh; she let me know she knew I was at a disadvantage; she remembered that I am inexperienced, working with students whom I didn't know and who didn't know me, and knew I was not being in what she called "middle school mode"; she was critical without being negative, which I appreciated.

Despite this, Ms. A. requested that we set up another demo lesson; I'd be working with the same class, which we mutually decided might be more suitable because there would be a level of familiarity between the students and me which might make it easier on everyone involved. I'll just have to determine what Ms. A. might want me to focus the lesson on, if anything specific, and set up a date for me to come back in.

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