Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Day 4 - Farm Based Education II
Since today was "Obamaday" and the students were off school we were not able to teach the lesson we painstakingly prepared. In exchange we had the opportunity to watch the inaugural address live on streaming internet TV. We may be living in the rainforest in the Virgin Islands, but this is still technically America. Thank you for coming through for us hulu.com, CNN totally fell down on its duty.
I could get into my analysis of the speech, the messy and halting swearing-in ceremony, or other political babble, but that is not what I'm *here* to accomplish. Instead, I'd like to talk about our method of lesson planning that I didn't get into in the Day 3 write-up.
As a group we approached the task of planning a class to teach the following day with apprehension. Can I teach what I am only just learning? I am terrible with children and they can smell fear. As someone who attempted to teach kids before, I understand the process that I went through to haphazardly plan English Language classes with little or no training. I know how stressful it can be. Our instructor, Nate, began by tempering our irrational fears with the idea of the 50/50 rule, expect 50% of your planning to work and have back-ups and alternatives to cover the rest.
Nate began with the analysis of the natural cycle, and ancient way of relaying information as described by the directions, seasons, and the cycles of seeds and growth. When we started to understand each of the positions on the circle we could see the roles that each of us would fill in the lesson. We played a game that we decided to rework for the students and came back to plan our class.
It was amazing the transformation that the group underwent through this activity. We returned to the planning area and each had clear ideas and impressions about how best to relay the information to the kids. The run-through wasn't perfect, but armed with the proper tools I think we can handle a group of 8-12 year-olds.