And today was the first time, the very first time, I taught a class. (well, actually, four.) My amazing director, knowing that I’m about halfway done with my teaching certification, has given me the opportunity to get my feet wet and teach during our summer program. We have an enrichment program for school age students, and I’m teaching the Spanish component during the next seven weeks. I taught our four different groups for 30 minutes each this morning, and I think it went well. The hardest part was making sure I had sufficient material to avoid any idle time, and while 30 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot, it certainly goes by very fast. I was afraid I’d end up presenting my materials and have like 10 extra minutes with nothing to do, which is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. Fortunately that was not the case: I was able to pace myself, I asked the students open-ended questions to get them to engage more with the topic, and I was flexible with the flow of the lesson, adding or taking away things as needed. I’m also happy that I remembered all the best practices I’ve learned so far in my first few courses regarding classroom management and maintaining control of the class. I do know most of the kids, but not in the teacher/student role, so I was nervous about that too.
I haven’t yet written the lesson plans for the next few weeks, but I’ve flipped through the textbook and have some ideas that I’ll work on this weekend. Ah, yes…and the harshest critic I know, my own Matty, said I did a great job, that he liked my lesson and that he wasn’t bored. I know I won’t be an effective teacher overnight, but I’m sure of why I’m doing this, and I’m definitely passionate about making a difference in my students’ lives. I can’t say I’m ready to tackle my own class of 20+ students for a full work day, but this is a pretty good start.