The personal learning network for educators
If I was a student of mine, I would drive me crazy.
I took a PD class last week and I was the one being taught something on the computer. I tried to stay on task, but I sometimes got distracted, or bored and went off to look at something else, and I got lost. I needed to ask for help from the person sitting next to me, I even needed help from one of the facilitators of the program at one point. I was a nightmare.
It made me think long and hard about my own classroom. While I can't prevent students from getting distracted or lost, how can I help them get back on track and stay there? To be fair, the workshop was moving pretty quick because they assumed that teachers who are proficient on computers didn't need a lot of help. The problem is the lesson could have been differentiated. All the teachers had different levels of expertise, which made for some problems with the speed of the class. They assumed we could follow along easily, which wasn't always the case. When they had to stop and help too many people, the ones who were ready got bored and wondered off (me.)
It's an inherent problem with computer class; some lessons need specific directions to acquire the skill being taught. Everyone needs to follow step by step, but they might not go at the same speed, so it can be frustrating. I need to better address this problem in my classroom.
I think I will start developing more visual clues for students to help them with the steps they should follow. I will check for understanding even more, if that's possible, and I will move slower, much slower. I will repeat directions five more times than I do right now.
Some kids don't have problems in my class, so I think things are fine. I need to think about the struggling kid, the kid who counts on the person sitting next to them to know what to do.
I learned a lot from the PD class, only half of which was what they were trying to teach me. The rest was what I needed to learn about myself as a teacher.