Bad first lessons - your experiences

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songforclay90
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#1
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#1
So I sort of took my first lesson. It was a cover lesson, not a lesson I planned myself, so I was just working to a powerpoint.

It was okay but I wouldn't say it went amazingly well. My EBI feedback from the teacher at the end was that I needed to be more confident in terms of how I spoke and to use more open body language, and that my voice wasn't projected loud enough (there were one or two occasions where I had to repeat myself three times to get the pupils' attention). I was in a hall with a group of loud and giddy year 7s so it maybe wasn't the best environment to test my teaching voice. There was a few occasions where the teacher had to step in to help me as well.

The question is - for those of you who had bad first lessons, what happened?
Last edited by songforclay90; 1 year ago
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bwilliams
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#2
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#2
Everyone has bad lessons. There's no right way to teach it's all based on research and not great research at that! Keep trying your best. The best teachers identify when a lesson wasn't good and you've done that so you are already in the top bunch. I remember when I taught a whole science lesson / experiment / write up / result in one lesson - which should've been 6 weeks work - for a lesson observation... it was complete carnage and now I laugh about it and tell the same story to the teaching staff I performance manage. Every lesson is learning for the children and learning for you - you improve each time. No one has the 'right' teaching approach, anyone that tells you that is 'wrong'
Last edited by bwilliams; 1 year ago
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bluebeetle
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I think something to bear in mind is that working from somebody else's powerpoint is always a bit of a different experience to working from something you've made yourself - or at least something that you've planned yourself by editing another resource or seeking out a resource you know is appropriate for your class and teaching style. You might find yourself more confident when using your own lesson plans as you will be more familiar with the structure of the lesson.

Do keep in mind as well that the purpose of this year is to learn. Whether or not the first lesson goes well is almost irrelevant, what's important is how well you reflect upon it and how you use that reflection to adapt later lessons. The fact that you're worrying about it and that you've remembered your host teacher's feedback is a good sign that you're getting ready to improve those things going forward. Did you get some positive feedback too? Ideally, you should always be getting some indication of what went well in a lesson, so you know what to keep the same.
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shortgirl96
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#4
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#4
Make notes afterwards on the lesson. What was good? What failed?
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songforclay90
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#5
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(Original post by bluebeetle)
I think something to bear in mind is that working from somebody else's powerpoint is always a bit of a different experience to working from something you've made yourself - or at least something that you've planned yourself by editing another resource or seeking out a resource you know is appropriate for your class and teaching style. You might find yourself more confident when using your own lesson plans as you will be more familiar with the structure of the lesson.

Do keep in mind as well that the purpose of this year is to learn. Whether or not the first lesson goes well is almost irrelevant, what's important is how well you reflect upon it and how you use that reflection to adapt later lessons. The fact that you're worrying about it and that you've remembered your host teacher's feedback is a good sign that you're getting ready to improve those things going forward. Did you get some positive feedback too? Ideally, you should always be getting some indication of what went well in a lesson, so you know what to keep the same.
I did, yeah. He was fair and balanced about it, and told me that his first lesson as a trainee went horribly wrong too. He also said well done and to not be too disheartened afterwards, it was all constructive and helpful. I've worked with toxic people in previous jobs who, when giving criticism, have done so in a hostile and aggressive tone with the intention of belittling me but this was different.
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username1799249
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#6
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#6
(Original post by shortgirl96)
Make notes afterwards on the lesson. What was good? What failed?
Or, what was good, what could you do better next time? There is no room for the concept of failure during such a brutal training program! 😀😀
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DrTomato
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#7
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#7
I did my first teaching today (2x 2hr lessons back to back). What my tutor likes to see is the kids actually doing stuff. We're in a tough area (worst seconday in the county) so the kids are never going to be angels but as long as they are making progress than that's what they want to see in our school.

And yes, if you think teaching somebody else's PowerPoint is going to save time, usually it's far better if you use your own material. Even better if you can teach the same lesson to different classes, because then you can improve on it.

Also observe as many different subjects and teachers as you can (especially at secondary). Don't just stay in your subject area.
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SarcAndSpark
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#8
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#8
(Original post by songforclay90)
So I sort of took my first lesson. It was a cover lesson, not a lesson I planned myself, so I was just working to a powerpoint.

It was okay but I wouldn't say it went amazingly well. My EBI feedback from the teacher at the end was that I needed to be more confident in terms of how I spoke and to use more open body language, and that my voice wasn't projected loud enough (there were one or two occasions where I had to repeat myself three times to get the pupils' attention). I was in a hall with a group of loud and giddy year 7s so it maybe wasn't the best environment to test my teaching voice. There was a few occasions where the teacher had to step in to help me as well.

The question is - for those of you who had bad first lessons, what happened?
It may well be easier when teaching a lesson you have planned yourself. Did you at least get a chance to read through the powerpoint beforehand? That helps a lot if you do need to work from someone else's materials.

Developing "teacher voice" is tricky- to you, it can sound like you are being really loud, but actually, that's what's needed to reach the back of the room! With Y7s, I often try to channel "children's TV presenter"- that sort of high energy, slightly over exaggerated "isn't this fun" persona. I know that sounds ridiculous, but they tend to respond well to it!

But remember, this year is a journey, and a bad first lesson doesn't mean you will be a bad teacher at all! Nobody is perfect straight away!
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