Saturday, April 16, 2016

Progress Through Failure in 7th Grade Math

Justin Rentschler

One of my best teaching days was just this past week when I was able to help a preservice teacher experience the joys and challenges of teaching.

The preservice teacher was from a local college and in her junior year.  She was very anxious about everything being perfect and making sure the students enjoyed her lesson.  Technology was not her friend at the time due to her laptop crashing. She lost lessons and was frantically trying to get everything ready for the first class of the day.

I coached her through some of the issues and she was ready to go just as the students were finishing up the start of class activity she created. She cruised through her lesson with ease, allowed the students to learn from her mistakes, and watched the students has they moved around the room completing a surface area of volume scavenger hunt.

The students loved the change of pace and were anxious to get the task done to find the clue at the end of the hunt. She allowed the students the opportunity to learn from not only their own mistakes, but each others as they searched around the room for the correct answers.  She had some great reflective moments about her successes and failures.  I loved being able to coach a future teacher through the stress and watch reap the benefits of her success at the end.  She even was excited about teaching middle school students even though, previously, she thought teaching high school was the only path for her.