Today was my first full day of teaching for my APT field experience. The day started off interesting with a rambunctious PE 30 boys class. These guys are awesome and they have a ton of energy. I had some difficulty harnessing that energy and I made a few mistakes that ended up detracting from class. Rookie mistake number 1: I threw out the bean bags into the play area before settling the guys down and explaining the rules of the game we would be playing. Immediate chaos followed. Of course everyone was picking up the bean bags, throwing them around or at each other and it took way longer than it needed to for the class to begin. Rookie mistake number 2: I put a few students on the same team that simply should not be on the same team. The old numbering off system failed me. In retrospect I should have made some trades as soon as I realized what was happening, but unfortunately I did not. The students fed off each other and they quickly were off task. Rookie mistake number 3: I let a few things slide that I should have addressed immediately. By not stopping and changing the behaviour of the students on the small things, they quickly progressed to more shenanigans. Rookie mistake number 4: I assumed that the activity I had planned would be enough to last the entire class. This ended up not being a big deal as I introduced some modification on the fly and was able to keep engagement for the entire class.
All in all, a pretty rough start, but it got better from there. The PE 10 girls class was a polar opposite experience. I used the same lesson plan and they loved it. They are such a great group and so enthusiastic that everything just ran better. I like to think that I learned from the first class and was smarter and more efficient on how I rolled out the lesson as well. The PE 20/30 girls class was awesome too. We only had 10 students so again I had to make some modifications on the fly. I discussed with the students some possible rule changes and we came up with an awesome game that everyone (myself included) enjoyed.
Today was a great learning experience. Even though the first lesson did not go exactly as planned, my mentor teacher encouraged me to roll it out again and the 2nd and 3rd times were big successes. I got a big reminder to focus on my class management skills and that will help the lessons to run smoothly. I’m pumped and ready to keep going and see where things go!