2+2 != Maths

February 12, 2012

I used to think I was a good teacher

Filed under: Musings — Numbat @ 12:35
Tags: ,


I have a confession to make. I used to think I was a “good teacher” because I could do my “prep” on the way to class, or even better, I could do my prep once I’d got to class and opened the book to where we were yesterday.

“Oh Yes! Yesterday we did 3B so today it’s 3C” I’d think to myself, greet the students then start making notes off the top of my head. I’d be thinking about what examples to put on the board while I was creating my class notes on the spot and make up some numbers along the way. Once I’d managed to create a board full of notes, I’d quickly scan the questions in 3C to make sure I’d covered all the bases.

These days, I think I’m a better teacher because I spend quite a bit more time on my prep. I will think about a particular concept for ages, in the car on the way to work, during my morning walks and at other times when the brain is sitting mostly in idle.

When it comes time to actually sit down and “do my prep” I’ve actually thought about the concepts in some detail so that the actual prep time is shorter than it might otherwise be, but still a couple of orders of magnitude longer than when I was a “good teacher”.

I find that my notes (I am trying to do fewer and fewer of these by the way) are much more comprehensive and my examples cater to a number of different aspects of each concept. But perhaps one of the best outcomes from actually planning my lessons was completely unanticipated – the students respond a whole lot better. It seems that the students know when I walk into class and “wing it” and they know when I’ve put hours into the preparation and they respond accordingly.



1 Comment »

  1. Glad to know I am not the only one who thinks and preps at all times of the day – the shower is a productive place for me!! Keep up the good prepping!!

    Comment by Kristen Beck — February 12, 2012 @ 15:20 | Reply

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