Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lessons Learned. Great Lessons.

I taught my first lesson yesterday morning, and it was such an awesome experience!  I learned so much throughout this process—much of it from what I had not anticipated.  To start from the beginning, I’ll go back to last week when we turned in our lesson plan drafts.  After getting feedback, I started to think about how I could make changes to the lesson plan. 

This is where the learning began for me. 

The suggestions and feedback (although some specific to the content), was more about getting me to think.  What did I want the students to learn? How was I going to assess them? What was I going to do the get there?  Now these were all things we had talked about in C2C a few weeks earlier when Audra, Scot, and Ariela had talked about creating lesson plans—but this was a reality check.  I need to continuously ask myself these questions.

Ah, the power of discussion.  It was through conversations, emails, and phone calls with Michael, as well as, sitting down to talk with fellow C2Cers (shout out to Erin Keyes!) where I could bounce around some ideas.  This is when everything started to come together.  I had made the assumption that as soon as I got feedback on my lesson plan, I knew exactly what I needed to change, and that I’d be told what to do. No, no.  That’s too easy—now where’s the fun in that? Instead, they asked me questions. Questions that I didn’t know how to answer off the top of my head.  So I had to really give myself some time. Time to think

Can I just say? Props to teachers! It takes so long to make lessons, and you do this every day J 

Now I find myself the morning of the lesson.  I’m nervous and pumped (blasted some tunes on the drive down)!  Michael has reassured me that the students are excited for me to teach—little did they know that I was sweating bullets!  But honestly, as soon as I got up there and saw all of their faces, the nervousness (not the sweating) went away. It was so much fun, and oh boy, did I have my hands full! I had to field questions from students, keep them engaged, anticipate when their comments may go off track, pace the class, check to make sure that they were learning the concepts, and keep time!  I managed to do some of those more easily than others, but I had some challenges.  There’s so much I can (and want) to work on.

I look forward to debriefing with Michael, and learning more about what I can work on for next time in order to make a better experience for the students.  Self-reflection and feedback are key motivators for me, and this was the perfect opportunity.  Nothing beats experience.  It certainly put to rest any concerns and assumptions I had before I walked in that day.

I’d love to hear from fellow C2Cers and TFA CMs! How did the first lesson go? What worked? What were some of the challenges? How did the students respond?

- Sahar Salek, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University


  1. Great job, Sahar! You have me all excited to teach my lesson which is coming up soon! How did you feel after your lesson? Did the students ask a lot of questions?!

  2. Nice, Sahar! I'm so excited to teach my classes! :)

  3. Thanks, Alvin! The students asked a lot of questions, and were very curious. But at the same time, one of the things I will have to work on for next time is how to better manage some of their questions-- at times it cut into time, and the attention of other students. It was a wonderful experience. You're going to get so much out of teaching your lesson! :)

    Thank you, Erika! Have fun with your classes! I would love to hear more about your lesson and how it goes.

  4. You go, Glenn Coco!! Excellent work, my friend! Backwards planning is what's up...Changed my life.