Marta A. Rivas
Week 8 May 19, 2019
Teaching Reflection, Areas of Improvement & Video Check List
Teaching Reflection Assignment
The completion of my first Teaching Event was perhaps one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences that I have had in this program. I feel that it was both a challenge and an opportunity to show what I know and identify areas for self-development.
The beauty of the Education environment is that we get to practice in a safe environment new skill that we can later transfer into the real world. The teaching Event and this Program did that for me, allowed me to try out new skills, strategies, and stage a teaching experience and empower me with confidence that I have what it takes to really do it in the real world. I felt like a happy kid with new toys. I could not believe it I was teaching a Lesson at my library. Our HSU library is one of my favorite places and I was playing with all the Education toys, the cameras, the projectors, the computer lab. I felt like a legitimate teacher and I could see how important going through the process was to become a real Professor. I was going through all the circuitous processes on this campus to put a class together and the daily lessons of planning ahead. It was fantastic for me to finally put everything that I have been doing for the last 4 years into a mini practice. Although as a trained Salesperson, it is easy for me to go into any situation unprepared and just wing it, for lesson delivery and good Teaching I can’t do that. It requires preparation/planning and the participation of students in the equation. More importantly, a lesson is not a transaction it is a process and collaboration of thoughts, ideas and practices coming together. The process is much deeper and is the imparting of knowledge and skills versus selling convincing someone.
The articles and everything we have read about Lesson Planning and my Teaching Event is that it is this whole process. It is not one thing that you do, it is multiple elements coming together to provide the space for learning to occur at a specific time and place for an audience our students. I learned that I care deeply about providing the best possible process, environment for my students. I don’t want to risk it to chance by not planning. I have made it a clear commitment to myself and to my students to be as prepared as possible because it will impact my life, their life and future.
In fact, that is why I decided to take time and invest my money to participate in this preparation program. I invested myself because I care, and I want to offer the best lesson and be the best professor/teacher I can be. In this program I have been both excited, calm, confident and have trusted our teachers in what they believe I need to learn about teaching, the planning process as well as practical tools/resources. I feel this is like an apprenticeship, to help me apply what I learned in my life, graduate program, which was awesome and amazing for the subject matter breakthroughs I had. But my goal now is to learn how to teach.
The Teaching Event was so exciting, and personally challenging as well as rewarding because it required me to generate it on my feet. It required all my physical, mental, emotional, and spirit to be up there lecturing. I felt the pressure as well as the excitement as students got engaged and were asking questions. I liked focusing on one lesson because it allowed me to just do one thing versus trying to impart my students with everything that I learned in Business School. It was good for me to learn to come up with a small condensed lesson, prepare a few lesson activities, and create tone and environment and finally when the students arrived the magic started. That was so exciting to me because it felt so scary to think that if students don’t show there is no class. Even after students got there, I did not think I could teach them something they did not know; I was nervous my friends are smart, they work etc., and they use business tools. So, I was frustrated at times because I wish I would have started sooner and had more sophisticated excel tricks to show them, but I did not; just basics. I had been planning this thing for ever, it was like waiting at the delivery table pushing and not knowing how that baby would come out of my belly into the world. But with the creative forces of the universe and my own effort I did my part and the rest followed. I took a leap of faith and before I knew it, I was rolling, they were asking questions and when they all did their introductions and shared their level of experience in the room, I knew I had something special to share. I started connecting with the students, and the synergistic juices on both sides started flowing. By 5:30 pm May 9th, a day after my first burn’s birthday I gave my first lecture and taught my first lesson. It felt like a new baby has been born and it is my new career in teaching. It felt like this huge burst of energy came over me since the morning of the event until I came home, and I was so full of energy that night. In fact I sat replaying everything in my head, for about 20 minutes I could not go to sleep from the excitement. I love teaching, it is like nothing I have ever experienced but all the different bits and pieces feel familiar. I have been preparing all my life for the opportunity to teach what I have learned to this point. I did the best I could with what I have, and I am certain I will keep improving and learning from my mistakes. The classroom is the best incubator for growth and self-improvement.
What is my personal teaching style;
I am not totally sure on what my teaching style is, but I am bold, welcoming, friendly, enthusiastic, welcoming and professional. I try to be personable, community minded, I like to build a sense of connectedness by being open and inviting. I use my words and nonverbal communication to convey my positive thoughts and feelings. I get excited when I talk about the things, I am grateful for and things I believe in. I like to acknowledge strengths in others to establish immediate trust and value. Moreover, my style is to be prepared I like to deliver what I promise. The teaching event made me think of everything I could control to make this successful. I had plan A, B and C. I had my outfit all planned, my handouts, PowerPoint presentation, relevant readings to the topic, snacks and drinks, and parking. I had my check list and kept double checking that I did not forget to cover a point while I was up there. I tried to open with a very warm and comfortable but professional introduction.
My strengths and areas for improvement considering my learning throughout this program
It is tough to see my teaching strengths because I feel like a fledgling teacher, watching my video was confronting. But I think my strength is my ability to communicate, connect with the students and stay engaged while teaching. It feels natural to talk about something that I believe in and care about, so I think that is compelling to others to want to learn about it themselves. The students in class seem to think Finance & Communication are two important skills or enduring knowledge that we should all have to be wise investors or employees in any institution. I was told by my friends off camera that they really had never heard about a lot of the things I was teaching them about. That made me feel good because it showed that even if it was just a practice Lesson for me, they valued it and it was not a waste of time. They wanted to come out and support me, but they also all said they now want to learn more about excel, finance, communication and using it in their work and personal life. That was the goal of my lesson, so it was great to hear that because my strength is that I really care about learning and teaching others whatever information has been valuable to me; knowing that they now see value in the information that I shared makes it even more fulfilling.
Future Self Development in your teaching career.
After completing my first Teaching Event Lesson I am motivated to put together more lessons from the class I created in this program and possibly other topics. I am also preparing my application, CV, Teaching Portfolio and will be apply to teaching positions for Community Colleges and Universities both for Online teaching and in class teaching at EHS/HSU. I am also going to be making a list of topics and business workshops that might be of interest to SBDC, local businesses and possibly get more teaching opportunities that way. I have also discussed with Sydney possibly coming up with a joint class on creating Meditation and Effective Communication. The other goal that I put on hold after starting this program is creating a Credit/No Credit Course and presenting it to the College of The Redwoods Director of credit/no credit courses and pitching it to her. I had met her at a networking event, and I reached out to her asking her how I would go about applying for teaching a class. She suggested coming up with a class that I wanted to teach but I explained I had just graduated and knew nothing about creating courses. She said to work on it and when I was ready to give her a call or email her a course outline. Now I feel like I am ready, and I have the tools to explore this opportunity. Finally, I plan to just keep learning at my job at EHS. I am in the classroom every day and can offer to serve my lead teachers in more ways now. I also want to take time to watch videos or take a class on video editing and improving my blog media, adding content to it and make more YouTube Videos. I plan to use the HSU library as a resource because they have lots of options in the Summer and throughout the year and I feel this was a big stumbling block once I finished the event. I want to learn more about Video uploads, formats and sound etc.
Analyze the effectiveness of the teaching and learning strategies you employed
In terms of judging effectiveness and the teaching strategies I employed, I would say they were somewhat effective. I think that the lesson could have been done in less time and if I had not been nervous about being up there using excel it would have been smoother. But I feel that it is a learning curve, I have a hard time following steps even when I am not teaching so with practice it will be fine. I think one of my strategies going into the event was to use small groups, but I got so into the students, getting started that I forgot to put people in groups. But even if I did not set people up in groups, we ended up working collaboratively as one cohesive group and I thought that was good. The other strategy was to use a few anticipatory questions and gauge the level of knowledge about the subject and that worked well. I was able to feel at ease that what I was going to talk about was something that was at their level and hopefully be interesting to them. The other strategy that I think I used well was asking students how they were doing and waiting for everyone to stay on the same page. Overall, the lesson objectives were met, and everyone reported that they generally liked what they had learned.
Determine aspects that you wish to improve for the future
The parking and the start time were a big issue. I wish that I would have had a way to get everyone to be there on time and for me to start on time. I feel my introduction suffered as a result and I will do better next time. I also wish I had practiced the presentation more. I think that I was a bit rusty, I will be practicing my excel by doing a video and doing the download a few times over and over, so I go faster. I also think that I could have made a list of questions to ask the students and felt I only asked a few questions. I must do a better job of that. The other areas that one of my students pointed out was repeating the lesson objectives and reminding them of the importance of doing your own reports. She brought up a good point in her feedback and it was that I never explained why when Yahoo Finance gives you reports would you waste time doing your own. She said you needed to explicitly state your main points by writing them on a board or during lesson. But overall, I feel that this was a good experience and with time and practice effectiveness will come. Thanks so much.
Marta Rivas Video Analysis Checklist
In Tools for Teaching (2000, p. 474-477), Davis offers a useful self-observation checklist or series of questions that will help you assess and reflect upon your teaching video. Use this sheet, adapted from her checklist, to take notes while viewing your video and to later write your formal self-analysis. Please note that not all these questions will be applicable to your teaching event.
Opening, Organization, and Closing
|State the purpose of the class session and its relationship to the previous class?||Yes, But I could have put it around the room or put it on the presentation for repetition.|
|Present a brief overview or outline of the content at the beginning of the session or state the problem to be solved or discussed?||yes, need to make it clearer why it’s better to download the info and od yourself when you have yahoo finance.|
|Emphasize or restate the most important ideas?||Using excel and resources to make decisions and communication internally externally|
|Make smooth transition |
from one topic to another?
|My transitions need work.|
|Restate, at the end of class, what students are expected to have gained from the session?||I did not state what students should have gotten from class.|
|Summarize the main points or ask students to do so?||I summarized my objective, but I could have done a summary of the main points of tonight’s lesson. I think I was just nervous because some people had been there since 4 and others arrive 15 minutes late, so it was odd. Plus, I felt like they were doing me a favor for coming and I felt I had to wrap it up.|
|Seem at ease with the material?||I was not at ease with the material. I am new to financial spreadsheets and I get nervous just like any new user. I feel that I tried to use that to build rapport but a few times I kind of froze and had to ask my friend Tim who is a tech to help me remember a fast trick on excel.|
Clarity of Explanation and Student Understanding
|Define new terms, concepts and principles?||I think I did a poor job of defining the terms, I used a few that I think needed me to post a definition versus my own i.e. Triple Bottom Line, Sustainability,|
|Give examples, illustrations and applications to clarify abstract concepts?||I tried to give examples but again I did the best I could, I need to practice and review the material more. I felt that I spent so much on logistics that I did not review material as well or as much as I should have.|
|Explicitly relate new ideas to familiar ones?||I tried to use our definition experience with doing our personal finance as an analogy to business finance but again another area of improvement.|
|Know when the class is understanding or not understanding you?||I think I was in touch of that and paused a few times to wait for people. I think that is one of my good qualities I pay attention to people.|
|Slow down when discussing complex or difficult ideas?||I think my pace was a little slow, but it worked for this lesson.|
|Write legibly and clearly?||I wrote a few words; they could be written better in my opinion, but I am a perfectionist.|
|Offer alternate explanations when students do not understand?||This was not evident; I think for the most part we were all on the same page.|
|Use technology effectively?||I think I used the technology in the room well, I went the do a trial run the day before so that helped. I also got tech support from tech department and library. So yes I felt I was on top of this but it was because I struggle with this that I put in so much time ahead of time that I learned how to use camera, projectors, etc., got set up with a new training room it was great.|
|Ask questions to determine what students know about the topic?||I was ok asking questions, but this is work in progress|
|Use questions periodically to gauge whether students need information on the topic?||No, I went on autopilot beyond the beginning and I think in the future time permitting I will think of questions as it says on chapter 53.|
|Pause sufficiently after all questions to allow students time to respond?||n/a|
|Ask different levels and kinds of questions to challenge and engage students?||n/a will device them|
|Encourage students to answer difficult questions by providing cues or rephrasing?||n/a I will keep this in mind for future.|
|Ask to follow up questions if a student’s answer is superficial or incomplete or irrelevant?||N/a need to think of good questions|
Student Interest, Participation/Discussion and Class Climate
|Encourage students’ questions and comments?||I felt that I tried to answer the questions, but the students only had a few questions.|
|Draw out quiet students to participate in discussion (and prevent vocal students from monopolizing the discussion)?|
|Listen carefully to students without interrupting?||I think I can work on this section because although I was listening, I think being on stage and for the first time I was nervous. I was just trying to keep myself even and cool up there.|
|Accept other points of view? |
Let students challenge what you say?
|Yes, no opt to do this|
|Provide opportunities for students to apply what they are learning to new examples?|
|Address all students by name?||I knew everyone so I thought I did this fine, and just did it.|
|Call on males and female students in equal proportion? Call on students sitting in different areas of the room?||Not sure since we only had one male.|
|Give praise, encouragement and criticism even handedly?||I gave praise but I think I was so happy almost acting like a kindergarten teacher.|
|Avoid language and examples that may exclude or derogate any groups?||I did not do this but good to keep this in mind.|
|Offer meaningful encouragement and support?||I think that I encouraged the class to believe in themselves and keep learning how to add value to themselves. But I think I could have been less animated. I felt that I sounded like a salesperson not a teacher.|
Voice, Pace, Eye Contact and Physical Movement/Use of Space (Delivery)
|Speak in a clear, strong audible voice?||I think my voice was ok. I am long winded. I have to practice being short and concise.|
|Speak neither too slowly nor quickly?||I think my pace was good.|
|Speak at a rate that allows students to take notes||I think I went slow enough for them to take notes. But I should repeat the terms that I wanted them to remember. I must work on planning my lesson with the idea of enduring knowledge in mind.|
|Avoid filler phrases such as “you know” or “umm”?||I did not catch any of those, but I feel that I was talking in a very candid tone. Perhaps I should have been more academic and neutral.|
|Use intonation to vary emphasis?||I was just talking this will take work. I use inflection in an ok way.|
|Adjust tempo as needed?||Ok, not too aware of this needs work.|
|Make appropriate eye contact and talk to the class, rather than to the board or windows?||I am good with eye contact and was able to pay attention to them and keep track of what I was saying. That is hard for me.|
|Avoid reading from notes? ||I don’t read the notes. I had to be aware of them, so I stayed focus instead of just speaking extemporaneously. I think in teaching I will have to constantly check with my notes to be sure to be on task not just talking out of some random tangent. Which is fine you are teaching a subject that is not technical. What I noticed was hard for me was to talk and produce or lead people to practice with an online tool. It was important to follow the step and not get distracted.|
|Move about the room to reduce the physical distance between you and the students and keep their interest?||I am comfortable in a classroom environment and I think this is my core strength I have a strong presence and I know how to come in and out of people’s space. I think that class connection is my favorite, I love to connect with people, so it just flows naturally.|
|Engage students in the back?||I did good with connecting to everyone, but I don’t think this class counted as a real sample as it was only 5 people. If I had a class of 20 that would be harder.|
|Arrange furniture to reflect your instructional strategies?||Yes, I went above and beyond to get a computer lab so the students could interact and have an interactive lesson.|