I have officially completed my international practicum and am sad to leave my Anatolia family behind as I spend my last few days in Greece. Towards the end of my student teaching experience I was given multiple opportunities to teach full-class lessons on new vocabulary and engage the students in fun review activities to help prepare them for their final examination. These lessons were very casual, as I did not create detailed lesson plans, as I normally would have for my courses at BC. My classroom supervisors gave me free reign to teach the vocabulary and review material in any way I choose. I found the students really enjoyed when I created interactive PowerPoints to help review vocabulary. I believe this was most likely I was able to include a lot of visuals and they were eager to come up to the Smartboard and engage in different activities. Some of these activities included fill-in-the-blank and matching exercises. I also made the conscious decision to include personal information in my lessons as well. For example, one lesson I taught was all about hobbies. In my PowerPoint I included what my own hobbies were, including pictures of me doing those particular hobbies. I felt the more the students knew about me, the more interested they would be in my lessons, and the more open they were to sharing information with me about themselves.
After the class sessions were over the classroom teachers would give me feedback about my lessons. They often commented that in order to include all students in the lessons, I could call on those who were not raising their hands to answer questions or participate in the activity. I understand it is important for all of the students to be involved, but I did not feel comfortable calling on students who were not willing to engage because I did not want to put them on the spot or make them feel uncomfortable. This pushed me to think of new ways to make sure all of the students were engaged. In my next lessons, I engaged the students in group-activities, where each student was given a particular job within their group. For example, in a group of four, one student was the timekeeper, one student was the scribe, and so on. This method worked very well when it came to engaging all students and making sure they were all actively learning.
My experience at Anatolia was very different from my other pre-practicum experiences. Since I was not able to spend an entire day with one specific class, I was not able to experience their daily schedule, observe different subject lessons and activities, or learn new classroom management techniques. However, student teaching in a classroom of a different culture was a very rewarding experience. Some of the major differences that I have recognized during my time here was teacher and student interaction. My classroom teachers were very casual with their students at times. For example, they would tease them in a joking manner or make silly comments to them as well. I believe the relationship between teachers and students in America is much more formal than those I have seen in Greece. In addition, there was not a lot of classroom management techniques incorporated within the classrooms. In American classrooms, teachers usually have multiple methods of classroom management techniques implemented in their classrooms. In Greece, I noticed the students got very out of hand at times since there was no classroom management and the teachers had no way of controlling them besides raising their voice.