First Ever Lesson

So, today I taught my first ever lesson in a school. Although only a group lesson, it was just as nerve wracking.  We were learning about maths, in particular calculations using money.

Now, when students hear “get out your maths jotters”, the majority never seem to excited by it. Obviously this is then our job as the teacher to make their maths as exciting as possible.

I didn’t overly enjoy maths at school. At primary school, I wasn’t keen but somehow I was good at it. I took the approach of “the quicker I do it, the sooner I can stop doing it, however this is not often the approach taken by children.

I found that many of the pupils in my group were disengaged before they even sat down. This was very daunting for me, as a brand new student teacher, how on earth was I going to engage these children with this activity.

I managed to catch their interest by using every day objects and pricing them to allow me to encourage each pupil to work out how much my shopping list would total. This went further in depth when I would say “oh actually I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want the soup anymore, I have plenty at home” which encourage the children to then subtract the value and so on.

This all worked very well, but then we had to go on to the textbook exercise. This is where I got to see every single thing that went through each child’s mind as they were working through their equations. I found it very interesting to see some of the mistakes made, and how understandable the mistake were. It allowed me to understand any gaps in their knowledge and showed me where each child needed to improve.

At the end, I had a fair idea of where each child struggled, however I wanted to ensure that they could self-assess their strengths and weaknessed. To do this, I simply asked what they found “easy-peasy” and what they struggled with. This confirmed that they felt the same way.

My teacher has given me the follow-up lesson to do tomorrow where I will be revising multiplying decimals. I feel more comfortable now in taking the lesson, however I am anxious about the fact that this lesson will be assessed.

4 thoughts on “First Ever Lesson

  1. Susan Buckman

    Well done Danielle,
    I remember my first lesson and the class teacher had to intervene because I froze, so we have all been there.

    Reply
  2. Carrie McLennan

    I particularly liked your paragraph about making mistakes. Creating a climate in a classroom where pupils feel comfortable to share their thoughts so they can learn from any mistakes is really important. I was interested to read your last sentence about being anxious due to your next lesson being assessed. I am sure it was formatively assessed – so you would have been given feedback on what worked well and what you could do differently. You can think about how your pupils may feel to be assessed and have feedback from you as their teacher – this worry on your part will make you a more empathetic teacher!

    Reply
  3. Tricia

    Really interesting to read your reflection on this Maths lesson, particularly where you say ‘I found it very interesting to see some of the mistakes made, and how understandable the mistakes were.’ I think sometimes teachers who were good at Maths themselves can forget the difficulties that non-mathematicians often face, so your own empathy for the children is really coming through there. Also your recognition that textbook learning can be a real turn-off, but linking this to everyday life and making it meaningful made all the difference. Well done.

    Reply

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