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Part of Being Teacherly is Learning I’m Still Learning

I thought I had it all figured out.

I thought I planned everything and had everything in place.

I thought this time it would go perfect.

But I thought wrong.

My teacher candidates in my Methods course are always full of stress and anxiety and emotions. It comes with the territory. I was the exact same way when I was in my Methods class; for many of them it’s the semester before Internship / student teaching, which means another semester closer to REAL LIFE… and there are still SO MANY THINGS that we don’t know!

At this moment in this class, it was the lesson plan. But I thought I was prepared and I thought I put everything in place for my pre-service teachers.

They were introduced to the template that the college of education uses last year in a couple different courses (one of them being my Foundations of Education course). We broke down the pieces and what we should be thinking about for each part and how a lesson flows and how everything grows out of our learning objectives and backwards planning and formal and formative and summative and observable assessments. I broke it down again this semester and walked through all the parts and how one lesson should flow into the next and how guided practice feeds independent practice and we discussed ways to allow our students to show us what they’ve learned. So when the big lesson plan assignment came, I wasn’t worried. They were all set. This would be no problem.

Or so I thought.

All it took was one line from one message from one student in my Methods course to send it all crashing down:

I’ve actually never seen a completed lesson using this template before.

I was crushed.

For all the the deep dives and discussions and dissections we’ve done of lessons using this template, I never even considered showing them one that was filled out!

The worst part is that I’m always talking about the importance of mentor texts and how as teachers we should complete the activity or assignment before we give it to our students to make sure all the steps make sense but also so our students have an example of one way to complete the assignment.

But for some reason I left that part out this time.

This was a lesson in preparation, but also in realizing that as teachers we never stop learning from our mistakes.

It’s not enough to field and answer questions about the assignment.

It is not enough to explain and describe all the parts to an assignment.

We need to be sure that all those parts lead to something and that those parts are comprehendible and understandable to our students.

Because really, actually preparing our students and thinking we did, is a completely different thing altogether.

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