Thursday, September 27, 2012

Flying Solo

My master teacher was sick today. He dragged himself in to ask if I could take over. Much to my surprise, instead of feeling nervous or anxious, I was excited and frothing at the bit. This was my chance! I was going to try teaching biology to 35 freshman ALL BY MYSELF!

4th period filed in. The second they saw me, I heard, "We get an easy day. It's a sub." Not if I had anything to say about it. As soon as the bell rang, I took the reins. It was clear from my confidence that I knew what I was doing. I reassured them they would not be slowed down by Mr. B's absence. Then, we proceeded to start a new unit on the cell. I helped them learn new vocab and then taught them a section on prokaryotes and eukaryotes. I wowed them with stories from my research days, when I would spend hours looking at fluorescent markers in cells under the microscope. I shared with them surprising facts about bacteria. They actually seemed interested. Then we segued into the microscope lab. They were excited about actually getting to see these cells for themselves. All in all, 5th period went off without a hitch.

6th period wasn't as smooth. This is my normal class so they knew me and didn't try to get away with anything...until the last 5 minutes of class. But first, I got locked off Mr. B's computer and had to quickly switch over to mine. Meanwhile, I directed the students to copy the new vocab off the Word Wall. Soon, we were up and running again. I modeled for them how to prepare a wet mount slide of cheek cells. Everything was great until one student got super ancy and started flicking (read: flirting) water on the girls. I gave him a warning but he did it again, behind my back. I held him after and spoke with him about self-control for a few minutes after class. Not too big of a deal.

Tomorrow I get to to do it again but for all 6 periods! I already prepped; I just want to look over my slides and make sure everything runs smoothly. Can't wait! The things I need to work on: firm classroom management with clear-cut rules and expectations, timing (keeping track of when to transition and when to wrap it up and clean up), and pacing (slowing down during lectures). Today was the most fun I've had so far!

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