Week 6: Stitching Beads and Class Attachments

Here’s the link to this week’s lesson plan: Beadwork

Beading pattern

Yesterday is the 6th week of my field. I only have 30 minutes of the class but I think that it went well. I am able to have a bit of prep before the class starts to photocopy some graphing paper and cut them into strips. The class was wrapping up with their French project when I started the laptop so I can pull up my Prezi presentation—which I always use as a class guide. The laptop takes longer to boot up than usual so I use the time to distribute my handouts while it loads. As a warm-up, I gave them 4 minutes to talk within their group to share one activity that they enjoy doing and what influenced them to do so. I went around the class although this was just a warm-up. I gave a minute warning and followed it up with a 5-second warning raising my hands for signals. This is the first time that I tried it and it surprisingly was effective. I asked three volunteers to share theirs then I shared mine. Then, I introduced the topic and guide them continuously with their handouts. Few weeks ago, I never thought that they’ll need handouts because they’re already grades 7/8 and they pay attention. However, I think that it’s more effective when they have guide notes to fill up during the class. I also used several examples to guide them with their activity. Another “yey” moment is that I was able to teach some cultural content of First Nations people by teaching beadwork today. I always felt that I don’t have enough knowledge to properly teach and/or include treaty ed with my lessons but I tried it today and it worked out well.

One thing that I struggled with the lesson though is related with my slides. I learned from last lab/seminar about the 6-by-6 policies of presentations and I tried hard to keep my slides minimal. However, I felt somehow lost when I look at my presentation slides because of this. I felt less organized and I felt like I’m missing some important information that I wanted to say. With this in mind, I felt that I shouldn’t have used the 6-by-6 yet, especially that I’m not confident with it yet. On the other side, I think that a better solution for this is to put it on my lesson plan; everything listed—after all, the kids are writing with my guidance. Another thing that I wanted to change if I had the chance to reteach this lesson will be bringing a pre-made sample of my own designs and/or patterns so that they have an idea how it will look like. I will also bring a finished product from that design—so I think this is what I’ll do for Wednesday’s class.

Overall, the lesson went really well, including all the timing and flow of all the parts of the class. The students were continuously engaged and they look forward for the next part of our activity. I will be back on Wednesday afternoon to continue the beading part with them to fill the one lesson that I missed when I was sick. I learned few facts about myself this week. First, I’m confident to teach any lesson. This was my first Arts Ed. Class and it went well, just like my Math and English lessons. Second, I can feel how much I developed to be attached with my students. I’ll only have two more classes with them then we’re done and I know that I will miss teaching them every Monday morning. I think that they’ll probably miss us too because they learned to be confident and comfortable whenever my partner and I are in the class. We developed a good exchange of respect from both sides and I think that this is crucial part of being a teacher. I guess my overall realization today is always about trying something new and not being restricted by the fear of failing it. We learn from our mistakes and first trials aren’t always end up badly. It has only been few weeks but I learned a lot about myself already; one of them is a continuous reconfirmation of how much I wanted to be a teacher. With all these in mind, I wonder if there are times when aspiring teachers have ambivalent moments about teaching? Why do they feel that way and how did they deal with it? Thanks for reading my blog today.

-Aimee C.

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