I got into it this week. I got to be an actual teacher. I got to design my own lesson and deliver it. It was awesome. Nerve-racking, but awesome!
This moment was initiated a few days earlier when my co-op and I were talking about the past activity and he asked me ,”What do you know about Gilgamesh?” I said that I knew that it was a really old story from Mesopotamia and that was about it. So naturally, he responded with, “good, you’re going to be teaching a lesson on the Epic of Gilgamesh on Friday.” I was astonished, but ready for the challenge expecting that he would have a lesson plan or at least some notes for me to follow to structure the lesson. I started asking questions about what he wanted the lesson to look like and what standards he wanted me to meet. He stopped me and said, its all on you. It was Monday. I had to have a 90 minute lesson on something I knew virtually nothing about ready for Friday. Lets just say the pressure was on.
I went home and in my free time, I learned the story, put together a powerpoint, and thought about activities. I was dealing with high school seniors and juniors, so I had to make this lesson interesting and applicable for young adults. I looked around using some different teaching resources and I saw some interesting stuff comparing old texts and how the epic of Gilgamesh may have influenced other historical texts. I decided to select some excerpts from the epic of Gilgamesh and the Bible. My plan was to have the kids read the excerpts and attempt to draw a comparison.
Friday quickly approached and I went in felling nervous of how my students would perceive me as their teacher and worried whether my lesson would live up to my teachers standards or not. This was my first time having an entire class to myself and having all the pressure of the success of the lesson riding on my shoulders. My teacher then told me that I would be graded and critiqued by him as well as all of my students after the lesson which only increased the pressure.
Ultimately, the lesson was a success. The students were attentive, interested, and cooperative. They seemed to be having fun and they got right o work with the activity I gave them. at the end of the period they all clapped for me congratulating me on completing my first full lesson. My co-op came over to me with a big smile and luckily it was for good reasons. He was extremely pleased with what I had come up with and how the class went. He did have a detailed list of corrections as well as a stack of comments that the students left for me. But he said that I looked like a teacher up there and that made me feel confident that I was doing what I was meant to do. He then revealed to me why he put me in the position he did. He said that as a teacher, there are going to be times when you get thrown into uncomfortable positions and there are going to be ties when you are tasked with teaching something that you do not know with last minute notice. He said that as a teacher you have to be able to think on your toes and be able to quickly adjust your plans in order to meet the required needs of the situation. I was so mad and worried at the beginning but after it was all said and done, I got some very valuable experience, I got some extremely constructive criticism, and I learned a supremely important lesson about teaching. I will never forget it.
#SED363 Lisa Hollenbach