Table of Contents
The assessment served as a critical learning period for me. I had the opportunity to observe the manner in which teachers create a favorable environment and deliver content appropriately. On average, there were between 25 and 30 students in the history class I observed. The class comprised of mostly male students. The teacher handled different classes of students with varied capabilities. As a result, the level of learning in each class was significantly different. In some classes, the teacher performed well in the delivery of content and organization of the class. However, other classes were quite challenging for her. In this paper, I present a critical reflection of the assessment, giving attention to the strategies used by the teacher in the delivery of content, the standards maintained, and the level of interaction exhibited in each class.
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From the observations during the assessment, I realize that a teacher must prepare different learning materials that can help students understand the content better. Particularly, a teacher must be able to incorporate different technological devices to ensure that students can interact with the content better (Pensavalle et al., 2006). During the first two classes that I assessed, it was evident that the teacher did not bring on board any learning or teaching materials and did not demonstrate any level of integrating technology in her teaching methods. It was evident that she did not give attention to the specific needs of the students and develop teaching strategies that address such needs. The first two lessons demonstrated a lack of adequate preparation because the teacher walked all over the class and did not demonstrate any additional efforts to help the students interact with the content further. It was an issue of concern to recognize the detachment of many students due to the lack of engagement. Although the teacher used direct instruction, she did not give detailed instructions concerning the individual tasks that the students were supposed to handle. Since the teacher did not provide adequate resources, the students were unable to understand the content fully. These observations made it clear that a teacher must take note of the high level of class diversity and embark on helping each student to register positive learning outcomes.
I also observed the teacher delivering content to gifted and talented students. Notably, gifted and talented students represent a unique group of students that have a high level of self-sufficiency and a measure of independence in learning. The teacher does not need to incorporate different learning strategies or introduce various resources for the students to understand the content (Bray, Brown, & Green, 2004). On the contrary, gifted and talented students are likely to understand the content and remember the main points in the future despite the method of teaching. The teacher delivered content to these students, and they were able to demonstrate their outstanding capabilities. Although the teacher did not take measures for promoting the level of engagement, it was explicit that the students remained focused on the lesson and were able to deliver a remarkable essay in a short time. Based on these observations, I recognize that teachers have an easier time when handling gifted and talented students. However, the teacher must ensure that each student receives the necessary stimulation and motivation to explore his or her full potential (Bray, Brown, & Green, 2004). Although the teacher did not incorporate any additional resources or rely on different teaching methods, the students understood the content and achieved the learning objectives successfully. It is imperative for teachers to recognize that students have varied intellectual capacities. For this reason, the teacher must develop effective teaching strategies for the students with various capacities. The assessment helped me to recognize the varied capabilities of different students.
Based on my observation, the teacher used the whole class instruction that was majorly passive. She did not allow students to play an active role in the learning process. Many of the students did not exhibit any level of engagement throughout the class. The teacher combined both individual and group-based learning activities. The students worked in groups when handling some tasks in the classroom. Moreover, there were individual essays that the students should have developed at the end of each lesson. It became apparent to me that combining different reading-based activities could help in motivating the students to become active learners. Using passive instructional strategies is not an effective way of helping students to remain engaged and to understand the content (Tomlinson, 2014). I learned that each teacher must develop strategies for enhancing the learning process through active participation in the classroom.
The field experiences taught me significant lessons that could help with registering positive outcomes. It is important for me to develop proper classroom management skills that will enhance the level of attention that each student demonstrates. The teacher lacked adequate classroom management skills a factor that allowed some students to spend time chatting with others. Moreover, classroom management skills should help the teacher to have a high level of control of student behavior within the classroom. The lack of proper classroom management skills compromises the pace at which teachers can deliver content and makes it difficult for the teacher to meet all the learning objectives (Brownlie, Feniak, & Schnellert, 2006). In the future, I will endeavor to nurture my classroom management skills. On the other hand, teachers must integrate proper classroom management skills with multiple learning resources. Depending on the potential of each class, the teacher must identify the effective learning resources.
Undoubtedly, the teacher lacked important competencies in the delivery of content and the management of the classroom. However, there is room for progress when a teacher recognizes that students have varied capacities and have different learning styles. I would have handled some of the classes differently by incorporating more learning resources and using different instructional strategies. The field experiences helped me to recognize the need for the development of outstanding capabilities for identifying student needs and meeting them successfully. I learned that a teacher must be prepared to handle different situations in each class and to demonstrate a measure of flexibility depending on emerging student needs. The teacher must embark on creating a favorable environment that empowers students to understand concepts easily.
- Bray, L. M., Brown, A., & Green, T. D. (2004). Technology and the diverse learner: A guide to classroom practice. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin.
- Brownlie, F., Feniak, C., & Schnellert, L. (2006). Student diversity: Classroom strategies to meet the learning needs of all students. Markham, Ont: Pembroke.
- Pensavalle, M., Tyerman, J., Delgadillo, L., Miyake, J., Soong, A, (2006). AACTE 2006 Proposal: How Reflection Impacts Instructional Change. AACTE 2006 Proposal,
- Tomlinson, C. A. (2014). The differentiated classroom: Responding to the needs of all learners.
Alexandria, VA USA : ASCD.