Two Is Better Than One…
I think we probably all have those lessons that we have taught for years and feel pretty good about. Why fix something that is already working, right?
Sherry and I discovered a way to improve our unit on point of view – give them two points of view! When Sherry and I decided to combine our classes we did not expect it to be so successful…in fact it was mostly an ingenious way to get in my PAR observation of Sherry before the end of the semester!
SHERRY: Lesson Transformation…
I admit I was a tad nervous team teaching with Cindy, but the overall lesson actually flowed beautifully…
We had our CRE 101 students come together for a mini-lesson on point of view. When planning we sorted and chose different current event cartoons to use. We had our students intermingled from both classes; it was interesting to observe the change in dynamics of some of our student’s personalities.
The eye-opening part of this experience is Cindy and I transitioned well with each other, added comments based off what we were each saying, and the students’ responses and questions monitored and adjusted where our lesson headed.
Upon reflecting, we commented on how comfortable we both felt. Both classes were also given the opportunity to reflect, and clearly enjoyed the experience. They made comments on how it was interesting to see what students from the other class were thinking, and what type of questions they asked. They also commented that hearing the lesson from two teachers enhanced their understanding.
CINDY: Combining our classes benefited both teachers and students. In total our students were together three times, including one information literacy lesson taught by Renee Smith. We tag teamed very well – filled in for each other as needed and did it naturally so students were equally comfortable. And Sherry is right – the most valuable lesson for me was about timing. Even after all these years I always seem to over plan and run out of time. I sense that it stresses out my students as much as it stresses me out! And surely it is not effective teaching!
Once again the mentor-mentee relationship is reciprocal: Sherry is modeling for me how to plan and pace my class time more effectively. When we taught together, the lesson flowed better, students were engaged and interacted with each other, and we feel they received a better presentation on point of view – 2 points of view!
SHERRY: As we have continued in our planning, it is evident that we bring out the best in each other….for example….I make it relevant for the students and I share my time management minutes, right Cindy? 🙂
Cindy keeps me on my toes by asking the hard questions that connect to our student outcomes, and keeping our expectations high!