The 3rd practical assignment is the micro teach. All the other Ptlls assignments are also covered, so check them out if you need. The trick with the micro teach, I think, is just to really enjoy it and not worry. It’s practice and you’re learning.
Level 3 – Deliver the teaching practice session/s, demonstrating a selection of teaching and learning approaches to engage and motivate learners. You need to communicate appropriately and effectively with learners.
Level 4 – Deliver the teaching practice session/s, identifying, adapting and using relevant approaches to engage and motivate learners, in relation to your specialist area. You need to communicate appropriately and effectively with learners.
It’s hard to get in to this too much because it is really all about you and the work you’ve been doing. A rock solid and well thought through session plan is completely essential and that will contain all of the theory-in-practice you have been working on for the past months.
A few points to note that not everyone might realise:
- Most micro teaches are filmed. Normally this is very unobtrusive just with a little camera on a tripod, not someone following you around with it in your face. Ask your tutor beforehand and remember you don’t have to be filmed if it makes you really uncomfortable. It’s helpful for assessment but it’s not a requirement and they can’t insist you are taped.
- You will be teaching the other people in your group. It’s okay to modify things based on that rather than who you expect to be teaching eventually.
- There may be other people present who you haven’t met before. Your tutor should tell you about any observations being carried out but just bear that in mind rather than being scared off by an unfamiliar face.
- Your session will be immediately evaluated by the others in the group. Likewise you will need to evaluate the micro teaches of your group. So pay attention!
- Half an hour goes really, really quick. So quick. And you will be cut off if you go too much over time. (Guess what almost happened to me. So quick.)
A few tips and tricks:
- Practice. It’s hard because you can’t recreate the exact conditions in advance but you need to check your timings. Do not underestimate how long it takes to physically hand round bits of paper or do almost anything with a large group. Know what you are going to drop if you start running out of time.
- Check and double check you have all your resources. Pack extra pens and anything else you might need and don’t assume the group will have their own of anything. It’s not worth the delay.
- Try out slides or presentations in advance. During a break or after a lesson a few weeks before just load up your stuff and check everything displays properly and the system you are using has all the right programs because it will vary from what you have at home. I had some music in my presentation that played so quietly on the college AV equipment I just took it out. If that had happened during the actual micro teach it would have really distracted and embarrassed me.
- Think about your hands. Well, you need to think about all of your delivery and how it is fitting in with the needs of your group. But your hands are the biggest giveaway if you are nervous what with the trembling or fidgetting.
- In theory you know you are supposed to move about, vary the sides of the whiteboard you stand and all of that. In reality, especially in your micro teach with all the emotions, you can forget. Work this in to your practice runs. Wandering about a bit (in moderation!) helps you relax anyway.
- We think we talk a lot but it is nothing compared to teaching. Take a drink with you and have regular sips, your throat will thank you.
Level 3 and 4
Unlike the previous two practicals there is a difference here between between level 3 and level 4. To hit level 4 you need to identify, adapt and use rather than just demonstrate. The approaches need to be relevant and related to your specialist area. A lot of this, I think, comes from the actual session plan back in P2. But in the practical it means thinking on your feet and not being afraid to deviate if you need. Any changes you do make can be analysed in the later assignments.
Okay! Hope that helped. I’d love to hear more tips and tricks from our experienced micro teaching alumni! Leave a comment if you have insights to share.