As a Professional Master of Education (PME) in Post Primary Education student, it seems relatively fitting to begin writing this blog now that I find myself halfway through my course. As a member of the September 2015 cohort, I feel that I have now established a wealth of knowledge about the programme that I am willing to share with others who may be interested in also pursuing the course. However, it is perhaps even more fitting that I write this blog on the same day as having completed my microteaching assessment- breathing still intact and a huge amount of knowledge gained!
For those of you that may be unfamiliar with the term “microteaching”, the idea of a microteaching lesson involves a student teacher teaching her peers a topic of their choice. And the most important bit? The whole lesson is filmed- with the intention of the student teacher then watching their recording afterwards to provide them with the ability to recognise their weaknesses and strengths in the classroom. The fifteen minute microteaching “class” also provides peer and tutor feedback in an effort to help the student teacher gain further insights to their teaching strategies and abilities.
I must admit that when I first heard about the microteaching module in my first few weeks of commencing the course, I was relatively unenthusiastic about the prospect. Not only did the idea of teaching teenagers on placement seem extremely daunting, but the idea of teaching my own peers (and being filmed in the process) was enough to make me reconsider my career choices. However, I can honestly say now that I felt completely un-intimidated by the prospect. I can attribute this to my growth in confidence in teaching within the course over the last few months- presentations, podcasts and lesson plans are simply second nature to me now. Instead, I genuinely looked forward to the day- even just for the rare chance to be a “student” in my peers- now friends’- classes!
The day ran extremely smoothly. As I am a French language teacher, my topic of choice was the “Tour de France.” While many of my peers had very little French, they all enjoyed the lesson immensely (or so they told me anyway!). I was extremely grateful to be given the opportunity to watch a video of myself teaching-not least for the fact that I’m glad that I have the chance to stop my (newly discovered) habit of irritating pen clicking before my next teaching placement! It was also very worthwhile to receive written feedback from an experienced tutor and my peers- the honest opinions about the strengths and weaknesses of my teaching will be incredibly useful as I seek to improve as a teacher.
Meanwhile, being a “student” in my friends’ classes was also extremely useful. Combined with the bonus of winning a pen for completing a written activity quickly, watching my peers’ approaches to teaching left me with imaginative and creative ideas to incorporate into my own classroom in the future. Particularly the Shakespeare songs- coming to a classroom (and a Top 40 chart) near you soon!
Overall, I’m really pleased that the microteaching went well, and I would urge other students to look forward to the day. I would certainly encourage anyone to choose the Hibernia College PME in Post Primary Education programme- I am only halfway through and am convinced that I have gained skills- and friends- for life.