Re-enacting the Micro-teaching.
So much happened at the same time during the micro-teaching and my feelings were so jumbled up and mixed that I’m not sure how to relate what exactly was going through my mind. I will as much as possible try to re-enact the details…
For starters, always prepare yourself for technical glitches and of course a PLAN B – just in case! Luckily for me, I had so many friendly and helpful IT reps. *ahem* in class to help me. Phew! (thanx guys and Kenneth for all the help :)) I felt rather helpless being that IT idiot standing there just receiving help.
So lesson no 1: Be prepared for technical problems arising, leant how to operate these big machines and know how to react to these difficulties.
I didn’t really feel nervous when I came into class that day. But somehow, that took a turn when I was waiting outside for the gals to decide on their scenario that they’ll be simulating. From behind that blue door (blue I think!) the girls’ giggles and laughter sounded sooo evil! (no offence girls) Haha!~ I remembered me reminding myself repeatedly to stay compose and not to let my nervousness shows.
Yet, it’s funny that when the microteaching got started, I find myself not knowing what to expect and all the possible scenarios that I was trying to play out in my mind on my way to school were completely gone. I felt the need to just be spontaneous and to react according to what will de demanded of me. That was for me, the next learning point. I guess no matter how much mental preparations we make, there is a need to keep and open mind and spontaneity on how to handle students. As it turned out, coming into “class” as a teacher without expectations was a blessing in disguise. Much of the flexibility and quick thinking personally stems from not expecting a certain conformed set of behavior from students.
One difficulty that I faced in being spontaneous is the ability to phrase my words right with no slip-ups. I find myself repeatedly trying to construct and reconstruct what I want to say to be firm yet tactful in dealing with misbehaviour. Having come into class with a cheerful and friendly disposition at the start, I find it hard to switch to being assertive and to tell students. Drawing a demarcation on the extent of friendliness and firmness to exercise in class, an issue that I have been asking myself time and again, ultimately lies in the circumstances we are in. In dealing with Sunarti’s and Latifah’s so-called obsession with me, *chuckles* was one instance where I was in a dilemma on whether I should really assert myself and insist on confiscating her handphone. I went for the soft-approach of giving her a second chance.
Weili then came up with another dimension for me to consider when she took out her phone to record my movements in class. It didn’t occur to me that at that time that confiscating her handphone without doing the same to Sunarti would be considered a partial move on my part. In retrospect, it actually was. And Weili’s reaction - her still vivid loud retort -“You not fair leh cher! So bias against me!” was really apt in reflecting a real classroom scenario. For one, it was a common line that we often hear in class (since we were students!). Secondly, it clearly reflects student’s opinion on how teachers view them. That itself could develop into a bigger problem. It sets me thinking then on how I could undo that perception that was already formed by students.
The lesbian issue that was brought up in class and the obsession with teachers are rather difficult issues to be addressed. Obsession with teachers like the one that ware role played by Sunarti I felt should be dealt with simply by not giving it too much attention during lesson time. It’s not so much of neglecting the issue, rather, it will over time, reduce the urge for these students to further overtly display their affections and emotions in class. However, these issues must be addressed, perhaps outside lesson time.
What I take away from this microteaching is essentially to go into class, having in mind I need to get through the lesson and issues that will potentially rise in class in the best possible way, regardless of how it is addressed. I feel that at the end of it all, we should all go in class in a positive attitude - undaunted by what is to come - and leave still feeling positive.
On a lighter note, here’s a motivational poem that will hopefully keep us going til’ 20 years down the road (if we can overcome the first 3 years first!hehe..)
Paint their minds
and guide their thoughts
Share their achievements
and advise their faults
Inspire a Love
of knowledge and truth
As you light the path
Which leads our youth
For our future brightens
with each lesson you teach
Each smile you lengthen
Each goal you help reach
For the dawn of each poet
each philosopher and king
Begins with a Teacher
And the wisdom they bring
By Kevin William Huff