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Wednesday, October 2, 2013
An Inspirational Moment
So far this year, my feelings of inadequacy and levels of stress have really been interfering with my ability to come up with exciting lesson plans and creative projects for my class. Summer NTI really taught me to keep things moving in the classroom and move away from the lecturing stance I would take from time to time. So, with the standards changing and the great instructional information that I had acquired, I felt a surmounting pressure (self-inflicted of course) to perform in the classroom. This being said, I felt as though my performance had been below par, especially for my intro class this year. I am not sure if it is due to the fact that the class exceeds the set limit in seat numbers, the students are a bit unruly, or it is due to my inability to keep them engaged. Whatever the reason, it seemed to me as though I had been able to teach them much of anything this year. Last week, we started the first full hands on project in the shop/lab. I gave instruction on what to do when we got to the shop, but did not include a process sheet due to the fact there were numerous new machines that students would be using that I wanted to go over with them personally as the project progressed. The students listened and followed through, once finished they moved back to their lab seats to layout their hole locations and awaited further instruction. After all students had returned to their seats, I began to give further instruction, but there were a couple of groups that continued to talk. A few students spoke up and quieted these groups down. Something I am used to with the students I have had in the past, but this was the first occurrence for this class. This was a good sign to me, showing that students were interested in knowing what was going to need to take place next. When I completed safety and final instruction on all the remaining machines, students went to work, all of them. My wild, uncontrollable class was following instruction to perfection. I had only one safety violation (that I observed) and it was corrected by another student, students were helping one another, and not a soul was off task. Not even my log bumps that usually want no part of anything resembling work. I felt as though I had reached a point with these students that I did not see coming in the near future. I congratulated them upon the close of class by literally applauding them. Even all of the closing questions were answered by a number of students unlike most days when the same four answer them all. Since that day, most all of the students have been much more attentive and interactive. Their interest has increased and involvement is more common. Students have become more apt to quiet one another down when instruction begins, relieving me from dealing with discipline. They’re attentiveness has redirected my thoughts of inadequacy, letting me know that I am getting through and being successful in my efforts.