Thursday, September 30, 2004

post micro-teaching reflections

Well, first of all, I must say that I think this will be the smallest class that i would ever teach in my entire life. haha it's like smaller than some tuition classes i would think! nevertheless it was still a good experience for me as i learnt a lot from this 20 mins or so. thanks to all my classmates who made it interesting and to those in cahoots of drawing the picture on the board :p hehe, guess that made it even more memorable for me. think i would actually find it amusing if it did happen to me in a real life senario. but if the picture was offensive or there were obscenities in it, it will have to be dealt with differently. depending on the severity of the 'offence', how repentant the student is, whether the student has committed this act before etc are some factors that we can consider when dealing with this matter.

it's good to know our strengths so that we can then use these strengths to our advantage when we teach. hmm frankly i dont really know what to say for strengths. haha i guess this is where the loud un-demure (hm is there such a word) voice finally comes in handy...ahahaha

Hmm, i was thinking about some of the things that i could improve on. yup, can definitely improve on presentation skills, like not delivering instructions orally. i know that we have talked about it before, but i thought that it was just one extra instruction that i had to add ie. getting the class to think of ways on how they would improve the promotion of singapore. didnt think it could have been missed out since it was just one extra point, but guess now i see the importance of presenting things in print.

the length of time given for the students to look though the worksheet first was overlooked. i knew that i made a 'mistake' when the students ... erm my classmates rather were looking for their pens when the video had already started. this caused some of them to miss the first few blanks that they had to fill in.
while preparing for the lesson, i had a mental picture of what will go on in when i would hand out the worksheets, what to do when i played the video (remembering to turn off the lights) etc. i took into account the time that i would need to play the video. i thought it would be wise to ask someone to help me distribute the worksheets while i started the video so that i would not waste any precious class time. It didnt cross my mind about giving the class a few minutes to look through the worksheet. hehe and i thought they would be ready when i started the video but guess i should have made sure that everyone was ready with a pen etc.

hmm about me being nervous and fidgeting, hee i wasnt nervous so maybe it was just me not being able to keep still. guess might have to look into that if it's distracting for students.

anyway ive been enjoying the micro-teaching so far. think it's really interesting to see the different teaching styles of my classmates and the discussion sessions after that will definitely come in handy. learnt so much in a fun way. hee and though im glad my turn is over, i really enjoyed my class on tues :) ohhh and now i fully comprehend the way that suhkairan felt during his micro-teaching about what pearl said. coz Emmanuel kept saying that the lesson was boring and i can imagine how it would feel like if the teacher took hours to plan for the lesson. i guess rapport with the class is of utmost importance... because hopefully they will listen even if the lesson is boring... of coz we hope that a boring lesson wouldnt happen. yah but at least maybe they'll 'give face' and not sleep or something. hee okie.. thats abt all for now.. thanks ibrahim and angel for observing and handling the video. haha quite excited to see the video actually..

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Well, thought that I'll post some of my thoughts before my micro-teaching later. I've prepared for the lesson already, or so i think! guess how well the lesson goes will very much depend on classroom management or whether the class decides to be devils or angels. yikes! hm, I'm not too sure if I'm trying to cover too much in one lesson, realised that there can be so many things that can be done. While preparing for the lesson, I tried to ensure that it was not teacher-centred and that the teacher was there mainly to faciliate discussion. Students will be encouraged to think, but this might make it more difficult since they might come up with irrelevant answers or perhaps even extremely intelligent answers that I would have difficulty answering. The worksheets are fairly simple so the class should not have any problems answering the questions which are straightfoward. The worksheet is designed in such a way that the first and second sections are easy to answer while the third section requires more thinking. thought perhaps this is a normal academic class so would be good to give them some confidence when they know the answers. In addition, these will later help in their later activities.

I decided to try use video since Kenneth was hoping someone would use it and I wanted to do something different too. Also, i feel that students will probably be attentive and interested with the use of the video especially with the sounds, pictures etc. The video will be used as a trigger activity for the topic. hee alright, enough said for now. will be back after my micro-teaching :)

Monday, September 20, 2004

well, I must say that my school experience was indeed an enriching one. didn't get the chance to teach Geography but did observe some classes, from Sec 1 to Sec 3 because the sec 4s and 5s were in the midst of some exam or something. the technical stream classes definitely had shorter attention spans but what surprised me was their eagerness to answer questions posed by the teacher. this was especially true of a particular secondary one technical class where i would say at least three quarters of the class raised their hands to answer questions! in another sec 1 techincal class, the teacher used bribes.. hmm or should i say forms of motivations to encourage the class to answer the questions she posed. hmm we often talk about creative learning, thinking of ways to make the lesson interesting etc. however, most of the lessons that i observed were still very much teacher-centred. i was told that pupils in this school were very weak academically and the teachers felt that varying their methods such as the use of videos or role-playing would slow down the lesson and they could not afford the time to do so.

one lesson which i found particularly interesting was a sec one normal stream geo lesson whereby the teacher used powerpoint. the slides were very colourful and had many graphics. the students seemed engaged in this lesson and were very spontaneous in answering questions. the teacher told me that she needed to make the slides attractive as they were a visual stimulant and she did notice a difference when she used powerpoint in contrast to the other methods she used previously.

i was glad to be given the opportunity to teach although it wasnt geo, but i guess the experience will come in useful for geo too. My CT gave me a better class which was relatively easy to handle. Im glad he did because i sat in for one of the sec 3 techinical classes and they were definitely a handfull! gosh, think teaching a class like that would probably drain all my energy for the day. it's like a class full of ibrahims during micro-teaching. *gasps*

ah well, i must say that i definitety learnt a lot from school experience although the condition of the school wasnt exactly great because we were in a holding school. it was a different school culture which i have never encountered before.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

my 2 cents worth on Run' Er :)

phew...nothing else to hand in for the week! for once, can breathe a little more easily. haha i spent like 8 hours at Jurong Pt just now.. talk about getting a life. hee.. alright..blogging time once again...

Hmm basically I think Run’ Er’s lesson went rather well though I felt that she was too nice! She was very accommodating and smiled a lot. In terms of a real setting, she might either get bullied or maybe the students will not take advantage of her since they will feel bad. Guess it really depends on the students. Some things that I think could have been improved on were the instructions given for the designing of the brochures as the class seemed to have numerous questions when she gave the go-ahead to commence with the activity.

Like what was mentioned in class, I think she did a great job in handling the cheeky ideas brought forth by the male group by allowing them to use ‘hotel 81’ in their brochures as long they could justify their reasons. This showed that she was open to ideas and allowed for the group to feel accepted. In the end, they did not even use that initial idea but came up with ‘normal’ attractions such as golf courses, eating places etc. the massage palour would have been alright if sukairan (erm hope I spelt your name correctly) did not make the remark to Felicia.

Often, Run’ Er ignores comments that is made by the class. guess this is good in a sense that she does not allow herself to get distracted and it would be disruptive to the lesson if she has to continually settle every small minute problem between the students.

We can see how students would judge the teacher and even test the teacher to see where one’s threshold is. For instance, when Run’ Er asked Angel to pass her the food, Angel tested Run' Er by not giving in so easily. Run' Er then decided to pursue the matter outside class after the lesson had ended. i guess this is a good method that we can learn from, since it lessens the disruption to the lesson and perhaps we can think of what to say to the student in case we are unsure of how to deal with the issue there and then.. sneaky... hehe

Also, think asking Angel to write all the points on the board probably was not such a good idea as the class was constantly complaining about how messy the board was. hm.. intially i thought that she asked angel to be the official note-taker as she takes down a lot of notes during normal class time. but upon learning that she Angel was the 'chosen one' because it was perceived that she might create trouble, i thought that it might make things worse to have her behind the teacher's back as she might make money faces or somthing..

i think run' er's idea of designing a brocchure is quite a good one as i belive that students often like hands-on work. and this project forces that to brain storm on ideas in a fun and interactive manner. Also, run' er was aware of the time and constantly reminded the class on how much time they had left. one thing that i noticed was that one group finished way ahead of the other groups. i think that we can learn from this because as teachers, we have to acknowledge that even though pupils are streamed, students in class are still of different learning abilities. we must think of how to ensure that the faster students do not feel bored etc.

hmm.. ok, thats all i have to say for the time being! till then

Tuesday, August 31, 2004


hee finally i'm in! Run'er would know what i'm talking about..forgot that i had to log in to post something, then realised that i forgot what my password was. muddleheaded.. dunno how i'm going to teach next time. phew, thankfully i managed to get it after playing around with the permutations of some passwords.

well, guess we're already into the 6th week of school. think most of us have been pretty busy with assignments and all. geo lessons have been an eye-opener. been meaning to write in my blog consistently but was caught up with weekly lesson plans for pupil experience class, 514 social context assignments etc. heh and probably just kept putting this blog off. this calls for better time management.

hm, Clifton's lesson went pretty well. well in a sense of his ablity to manage the class. think there was quite a lot that we can learn from him. guess some of which includes:

- having a number system so that students are assigned different roles. eg. time keeper, group leader etc
-> however, as teachers, we have to ensure that the whole group is contributing. this can be done by walking around the class and moving from group to group.

- do not always look for conventional answers as it is perfectly fine for students to come up with their own answers as long as they can justify their answers.

-> the teacher would have to be know the big picture as well as the objectives of the lesson so as to tie back whatever the student has mentioned with the syllabus.
-> hm.. but what happens if the student says something that the teacher is unsure about the answer? say that we will go back and check it out? would this then reduce our credibility?
-> hence, think the teacher should also be well read. good to keep ourselves updated etc.

ah well, and many other points which Kenneth has mentioned.

as for today's class, learnt quite a few things too. hee didnt really think that we could have experiments for geo class. always thought that it's more for science lessons. think experiments makes lessons more interesting and arouses students interests. perhaps some of the things that could have been done so that students were more focused were to give them a worksheet for them to fill in. the questions might have been on the power pt slides but students are easily distracted and might not bother too much about answering questions since they do not have to fill in anything. some other things i've learnt is about

- always think ahead of potential problems that could crop up, ie. expecting the unexpected
- thinking fast on one's feet since students nowadays seem to be getting smarter, question more etc. sometimes, guess they do not question simply because they are curious but maybe to test the teacher too.

etc etc etc. hee.

anyway, think the blog is a great idea. was thinking that it would be good if we could share our ideas in future when we start teaching. like lesson plans and all.. hehe maybe even like test papers and other resources is possible. makes things a whole lot easier... ok.. my 2 cents worth. hee should get started on my psyc assignment soon... groan.. hee gd luck with it fellow coursemates :P

Sunday, August 22, 2004

my first entry

ok, think I better stop procrastinating and write something if not it would just be an empty blog. My first ever website that i set up! Not very IT savvy as you can see. hm..glad that we're required to do it though. The blog was rather easy to set up, just had to follow the step by step instructions.. hee think what took me some time was trying to think of a name.

Well, geo lessons have been pretty interesting I would say, but kind of stressful! Never imagined that classes would be like that. Can't imagine having a class of Imbrahims ( during Angel's class) or if a fight breaks out in class... But guessed better to have scenario planning now instead of getting a rude shock when I start teaching. Or worse still, during practicum. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Hm it was fun being the recorder for the first geo session, had the chance to play around with the different angles, zooming in and out etc. Think Angel was real brave to volunteer for the first session because one wouldn't know what to expect and i think Emmanuel did a great job in managing the class. Just scanned through his blog, think he raised some interesting issues.

ah well, so much for my first entry. I'll be back...