How have you grown as a teacher from this experience so far (skills, understanding, or knowledge gained) (lesson planning, classroom management, demonstrations, etc…)?
I am currently completing my senior year of college. By this stage in my college career, I have written many lesson plans. Therefore, writing short length lesson plans have helped me understand what I need to put in my lesson in order to have someone else teach the lesson. If I have a substitute in my class, I need to have a detailed lesson in order for the sub to teach my lesson. Therefore, I think this aspect has helped me understand what is crucial in lesson planning. I’ve learned that each teacher has a different way of teaching. Therefore, it has benefited my teaching experience with a co-teacher to take turns. I like to show my demonstrations before the students do, while my co-teacher likes to demonstrate while the students do. Neither way is wrong, but I have learned the importance of having a lead teacher. This way each student isn’t getting two different waves of communication.
What new understandings do you have about children/education/your role in the classroom?
I am currently on the path to graduating with an uncertified art education degree. Therefore, this role in the classroom has benefited me enormously as I take on teaching adults. I am used to teaching children in the elementary. I have developed a new understanding as I learn how adults participate in classroom management and instruction. Luckily, the inmates at the jail make it easy for me to teach because they all want to be there. They listen when I am teaching and create art from there.
What has made you happy about teaching this quarter?
The thing that has made me the happiest throughout this teaching experience was the connection I have made with the inmates. I am so interested in the people I am working with. There may be misconceptions of people who are in jail but in reality these individuals are just like you and me. These people made a bad choice which has influenced how they ended up in jail. The individuals are so excited to come to class which really has made my job rewarding.
What is something that you would like to work on improving by the end of the semester?
I am still struggling with time management. Time management is difficult in a classroom setting, but seems to be more difficult in the jail. It has been hard to gauge the level of interest the inmates will have in the project. Therefore, I have learned to always have a free drawing, second project, or color sheets ready to go. Along with that, we have had to move projects to cover two days before the students are very interested in it and only finished the sketching in the first day of the project.