Lessons from a Lesson
Today I took my class to the computer lab to do some research for our biography writing projects. It was a nice change for the kids to get out of the class and get on the computers since I don't have technology as a prep this year. A couple of quick reflections:
- I was genuinely excited for this lesson last night when I was thinking about it. How weird is that? I was actually thinking about it the night before and couldn't wait to try it out.
- Most of the students are practically computer illiterate which makes internet research very challenging (as such the lesson didn't quite succeed as planned). One of my students said to me, "I've never been on a computer before." Can you imagine? 2008 and right here in New York City there are kids growing up without regular access to technology take for granted. If that doesn't exemplify the inequalities behind the achievement gap, I don't know what does.
- Overall the lesson felt exemplary of how much I've learned, but how much I've yet to learn. Integrating technology, modeling, scaffolding, etc. were all successful. But many of the kids spent two periods without really completing an outline. I realized afterward that I had failed to make the lesson doable for all the students. Really I needed to break the outline into parts and have the students who were struggling do one part at a time. So, as usual, it feels good to be a 2nd year teacher, but I know I have a lot to improve on.