A class of grown-ups is different…

February 28, 2011 at 7:07 AM 1 comment

Kim and I presented an hour and a half workshop at a local college to beginning teachers. We prepared for A LONG time. Talked through the gestalt, the running order, the activities. Found video clips, MADE a video clip, made a pretty Powerpoint. Got there ages ahead to sort out the inevitable tech issues in the class room and got intimidated by the amazing energy and charisma of the keynote speaker. If you are interested, you can find the ppt, the teacher’s packet and all kinds of resources at this link: “Motivating Students with Mastery, Choice and Purposeful Projects”

So it was a learning experience. A soft ‘thud’ after the talk. It went okay. But no clapping, few people staying after to chat and one woman who went out of her way to be confrontational. It was NOT a big fail. The majority gave good to excellent evaluations and the staff member of the college who attended was enthusiastic about the take action project.

What could we have done better? Here’s what I’m considering:

  1. Print out the running order of slides so I don’t lose my place in where we are in the big picture. Have some notes on them. Duh.
  2. Adults, unlike most middle schoolers, don’t like sharing out how they feel about something. Instead, re-phase as “How might some teachers feel about _____________?” This was a good suggestion from our facilitator.
  3. Have more breaks for questions and take time to fully respond to them, even if it means cutting some of the talk.
  4.  Adults can figure out clear worksheets without having to actually do all of them.
  5. Have a copy of the teacher packet sheets on the ppt so you can easily refer to them as you give instructions.
  6. Arrange the tables to make it easy for people to get up and move around. A big ‘u’ shape is difficult for that.
  7. Relax and slow down. Make eye contact and be friendly. (Not that we weren’t, but we were really nervous.)

I could go on but those are the main things I’m thinking about for the upcoming NSTA conference in a couple of weeks. I’ll bet you have some comments to add to this list. Please do!


Entry filed under: Class Management, Workshop Reports.

Connecting monomers, polymers and stuff you can actually see… Moving on from a Bomb

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Karen  |  February 28, 2011 at 11:58 PM

    I will take look. Bet it was better than you perception. I’m feeling that the need for project based learning is more urgent than ever.



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