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Chris Vanjonack

11/26/2014
Second Lesson Reflection

Overall, I feel as though my second lesson for EDUC 450 was considerably more rough than my
first lesson. Despite this however, I still feel that it was an incredibly valuable learning experience, that I
improved upon past mistakes and that the lesson was successful overall. My biggest issue with my first
lesson was classroom management. Here, I improved upon my classroom management technique by
being more direct with my students and more willing to raise my voice when necessary. This resulted in
a class that was overall better behaved than my class was for my first lesson. Two new places for
improvement popped up during this lesson. The first was my lecture style. Klebes commented upon this
afterwards, but I was very, very stiff during my lecture. There were a couple different reasons for this, I
think. The first is that I have really never lectured that much before, so it was a new muscle to flex, so to
speak. I understand that STEPP wants us to veer away from lecture whenever possible, but there is still
something of an art to it, and I wish that it were in some way addressed in one of our classes through
the program. The second explanation for my stiffness was my complete lack of familiarity with the
material. I learned everything I could about Hobbes and Locke the night before my lesson, which I know
isn’t a great teaching practice, but due to the intensely stressful nature of this semester, learning it at
the last minute was a necessity. History isn’t my content area, and I’m really excited to be in an English
class where I’ll be comfortable enough with the material to really feel confident teaching it. The other
main problem that popped up during this lesson was time management. It’s the craziest thing, but you
plan a lesson for 45 minutes and it ends up going 90, and you plan a lesson for 90 minutes and it ends up
going 70. I had to improvise a little bit to extend my debate activity. Klebes was amazing here,
volunteering to debate students from the perspective of Hobbes. Klebes is an intense guy who really
knows his content area, and it was awesome seeing him in action. I should have planned for a little
more.
Despite those frustrations, I still feel like this lesson was a success. On a personal note, I had one
student come up to me after class, offer a fist bump and then tell me “awesome job”. Additionally,
students were very engaged throughout the lesson, and although I was concerned and nervous about
the debate going into it, the activity went over incredibly well with my students. It’s a first hour class, so
I’m always happy when I can keep them engaged and excited about what can be dry material. The other
reason I feel this was a success was that my pre and post assessment proved that my students left my
classroom with an understanding of the material. This will be expounded upon in my Pre/Post Analysis,
but comparing the pre and post assessment (a three question quiz given at the beginning of the class
and then again at the end) showed that every student improved. I was very excited to be able to
measurably prove that I had taught my students something. I was riding a high from that for the rest of
the day; I think that’s awesome.

Despite being a little rough in terms of my lecture style and time management, I still walked
away from this lesson feeling pretty great. I’m improving as a teacher and every day I’m getting a little
closer to the kind of teacher that I want to be. I really, really love being in front of the kids. If this was
the worst lesson I ever teach (it won’t be) then I will be very, very happy with myself.