It had been 5 weeks since I officially started teaching, and half a term has passed. I feel like a failure sometimes. I had been reflecting a lot in my head since, but this is the first time I’m actually writing? typing my thoughts down.
One big problem I have is retaining my students’ attention. I had an over-reliance on powerpoint slides and a tendency to type everything I want to say on it even though I know I shouldn’t be doing it. There is a fear that I will forget what I want to say. I have, hopefully, I think, moved away from this dependency on powerpoint slides.
Another problem – lack of scaffolding. Oh, it is not a lack of it because I do build in scaffolding in my lessons. But I need more, especially for my class in the N(A) stream. I’d been an Express student and had only been exposed to Express classes in all my observations and even during my practicum. It is hard for me to put myself in their shoes. I’ve only truly realised how much more help they needed when I started marking their worksheets – an in-class assignment which I thought I had modeled and scaffolded. It is apparently not enough. As I was marking, I recalled the lessons in NIE – how we should even go through the information and visual stimulus with the weaker students. This was something I neglected in a hurry to complete the lessons on time. I need to remember that the Scheme of Work IS NOT EVERYTHING. I realised that despite the fact that the visual stimulus contain nearly everything the students need, they did not know how to put them into complete sentences. Just providing the information alone is not enough. Everything has to be guided step-by-step.
I apparently also lack awareness of who is in the class and who is not. Even if I had been informed beforehand that there are certain students who will miss lessons because certain school programmes or because they are out for competition, it had never occurred to me that I would need to change plans for teaching to accommodate these students until I heard other teachers talking about it. I also need to track their homework submission – with it, I would be able to discern who was paying attention and who was not.