Friday, September 30, 2011

Week Five: The Substitute

This week in field, my classes had a substitute teacher on Tuesday and Wednesday, so my week went something like this: planning for substitute, substitute, and post-substitute review of worksheets completed while there was a substitute. What did I learn from this experience? I will absolutely NOT give my students worksheets when there's a substitute unless there's no way around it! The worksheets were all either clearly created at the last minute or taken from the book and weren't enough to keep the students occupied for an entire class period.

Additionally, it is SO important to have a backup plan whenever you're using technology...even if you, as the teacher, aren't there! My cooperating teacher planned to have one of his classes complete worksheets on the library computers. First, he neglected to reserve the computers for the class either day (though luckily it was a small class and there were enough). Second, there were problems with the internet both days and the network started blocking ALL of the websites except for Google. This meant that the students had to try to search for everything on Google and find the answers in the short blurbs under the links.

Besides the worksheet chaos, the students in World Studies started industrialization...the unit I will be teaching formal lessons from. My cooperating teacher showed me the list of lesson topics he wants to cover within the chapters and I have absolutely no idea how to teach any of the topics I saw on that list. I have a couple of concerns. First, I don't feel like I can easily spend a whole period teaching just one of the topics on his list. Second, I was bored just looking at the topics...how am I going to make them interesting for my students? Even he thought they were dry topics and encouraged me to try to be creative with them (a good sign, but I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to do that). In the meantime, I'm reading the chapters and I hope that there's something there that piques my interest!