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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Typical Lesson in Carlos Aguilar

            Teaching lessons at Carlos Aguilar has in one way been easy and in another very challenging.  My teacher has been teaching for a really long time and definitely has a routine with how lessons go, and so it has been hard for me to feel comfortable doing things any differently.  The way she teaches does not require me to prepare much.  However, coming up with ways to add in something new that might help engage the students better that does not completely alter her style is challenging.
One of the last lessons that I taught this semester was on the different flora and fauna of the four different regions of Ecuador.  If I had all of the resources I wanted and felt very comfortable doing things completely differently, it would have been easy to come up with a fun way to get the students moving around and really learning the material.  While coming up with it might be easy, putting it together in a way that works logistically and also getting materials together would be challenging.  In a classroom of 39 students, 39 desks, 39 chairs, and hardly any space, I can see how the teacher is deterred from putting the students into groups.
I have found it challenging to feel like I am putting my knowledge and experience from BC into planning lessons for these reasons.  However, I know that some of these challenges are ones I would face in the United States as well.  As a result, I have tried to change the way I ask students questions.  This does not make a huge change in the way the lesson is run, regarding structure, so I feel very comfortable with this, but it definitely takes me thought and skill knowing how to change the questions I ask to make them more thought provoking.  I have found, however, that this small change in the lessons has truly altered the outcome.  Students have realized the need to pay attention and have learned to take their time raising their hand.
While this change has made my lessons more effective, I still sometimes walk away from lessons thinking about how it did not fully demonstrate my ability to teach.  I have realized though how important it is for me to recognize that there is no one right way to teach and that I will always have to take the culture of my school and students into consideration when teaching, no matter the country.

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