The hardest part is working the projector

I recently gave my first lecture.  Not a lecture created by someone else that I was merely delivering, but my first original lecture.  I followed the plan I described in the previous post and the results were satisfactory.  I grouped the students by proximity and gave them more than enough time to work on the problem at hand; I ended up truncating said time allottment because I noticed that many students had gotten their phones out.  But as the discussion progressed, the phones were set down.

Within the first few minutes of discussion one brazen individual was already testing the waters with an unoriginal reference to moonshine in place of a legitimate answer.  We laughed briefly and went on, but not until their group had been renamed “smartass.”  They seemed to get the message, and even tucked their tails a little, so to speak.  I think my future struggles will not be to maintain control, but to avoid being too harsh, particularly in the classroom setting.  This is something I’ll strive to be cognizant of as I develop my teaching voice.

There are, of course, things I want to tweak in terms of how I set up the case studies and what drives the content of the lecture, but at the end of the hour I was in one piece and the students were all awake.  They may have even learned something.

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One Response to The hardest part is working the projector

  1. Good Post Sarah. Understanding the full meaning behind an individual’s action in a classroom setting is very difficult. I have a student who dances the line between appropriate and inappropriate comments/contributions. I would like to believe that his comments are genuine and he wants to make a contribution to the class. At the same time I get the impression he is intentionally saying something that doesn’t really relate. Is there any way to get better at dealing with this other than experience?
    Freire suggests that “We must understand the meaning of a moment of silence, of a smile, or even an instance in which someone needs to leave the room”. We as the observers of the action instantly place a meaning on the activity. How do we know if our projected meaning is representative of the students intended meaning I wonder?

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