The first couple of weeks were a bit of a challenge for me. Having had no previous teaching experience, leading a class was completely new to me. In addition, my confidence in front of the class wasn’t as high as it could’ve been which impacted my authority in teaching the class. Fortunately we taught in groups, with one other person taking the module and usually two teaching assistants to help. This took some of the pressure off for the first few classes and made the whole experience more enjoyable. As the module progressed I became more confident and more willing to take the lead.
There have been several high points during my experience with this teaching module. However, my favourite time teaching was in our fourth week of teaching where as a class activity we had the pupils make Roman swords. While we had to improvise a bit to save time, all the pupils thoroughly enjoyed the class. They all required help to make the swords which meant a lot of time for us making sure everything was done correctly, though at the same time, I found the lesson gratifying.
In addition, one personal highlight would be in the seventh week of teaching when one of the pupils who required more attention than most others said something to the effect of “I wish you were here every day. You’re fun.” While the pupil was difficult to control and quite unruly most of the time, his comment gave me more motivation to help him along with the work. Even though he was incredibly disruptive the following week, I was still more enthusiastic about teaching him.
The experience itself has been incredibly beneficial for me. The course has improved my skills in working in a team as every week we had to prepare together for each class. We had to make the lesson plans and handouts every week so we usually divided the work load between the two of us, with one making the lesson plan and the other making the handouts. Thanks to this I now know how to prepare for lessons more effectively through writing efficient lesson plans. The course has allowed me to think more creatively when it comes to teaching and how to convey information to children. In addition my confidence has increased and I’m able to be more authoritative than I was before.
On the whole I have thoroughly enjoyed the teaching module. It’s been challenging at times, and there’s more work involved than with most other modules I have taken, however it’s much more rewarding because you're having a positive impact on the pupils. The course has made me seriously consider a possible career in teaching after I finish University.
Written by Lewys Zastapilo, 12 January 2015