Fall Semester 2016 Blog Post - Week 2
Please write a post about the following question, " In thinking about my teaching activities this past week, of what do I feel most proud? Why?"
In my level 2 Criminal Justice Essentials class we are learning about proper courtroom testimony and professional demeanor. The students took 2 days to write a DUI report with details I provided them. They were given creative freedom with how they handled the impaired driver and which field sobriety evaluations they performed. The then were called to "the stand" to testify in a jury trial. The rest of the class served as the jury members. I gave them a list of pre-prepared questions I would ask them as the prosecutor and then I would flip roles and "grill" them as a defense attorney with questions they were not prepared for. I was trying to teach them to think on their feet and also show them how important every single word that comes out of their mouth is when testifying in open court. The students loved this activity! We laughed a lot! My students kept saying, "I smelled alcohol on the driver". I asked them, "What does alcohol smell like?" This question stumped them. This is just one example of a question asked on cross examination.
Now on to what I am most proud of with this activity.....I have a student who is new to the school this year. He is very quiet and shy and does not talk to me or his peers in my class. It was his turn to present and he was very nervous and told me in front of the class he did not want to take the stand. I urged him to participate, as this was being counted as an assessment grade. I told him that there was nothing to be afraid of and the class supports one another. The class then began to clap for him and urge him to take the stand. This student eventually took the stand and performed outstanding!!! Easily in the top 5 in the class. I was so impressed with his courtroom testimony and demeanor!!! He received an A on the assignment. When he was finished, the class again applauded loudly for him and told him how great he did. It was the first time I saw him smile in 5 weeks!
After class, the student approached me and asked me how he did. I told him how wonderful his testimony was and that I was so proud of him. He told me it was the first time he had ever spoke in front of his class. He said in the past, he would always find a way to get out of presenting or just take a zero as a grade. He told me he realized today that it wasn't as bad as he thought it would be and that he now had the confidence to stand up in front of his peers.
I was so proud of this student and so proud of myself and my class as well. I created an educational and fun activity that the class enjoyed; the students rallied together to help a fellow student gain confidence; and a new student over came one of his biggest fears! To me, this was a successful week! I'm proud of everyone in my class! It made me feel like a very proud teacher that my student over came his fear!