Teaching Internship – Week 14Posted: December 2, 2011
I finally taught a whole class–2 hours and 40 minutes–woo hoo! The topic was qualitative research design, which is a little ironic since I really consider myself a quantitative researcher. Maybe it was good for me to get out of my comfort zone. I felt very prepared when class started… mainly because I had spent a lot of time preparing!
I decided to use a PowerPoint to keep me on track. I started with an outline from the textbook and then added information and resources from two of the qualitative research classes I have taken. In all, there were 50 slides, but only about 35-40 had actual content material. I sent students a note before class that my slides were available on Blackboard in case they wanted to print the notes pages and bring them to class. I was careful to break the content into sections, and I incorporated three active learning activities into the class.
I wasn’t nervous about teaching, but I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to cover all the material in one class period. I knew it was a lot of information, and it’s somewhat difficult to judge how long things will take when you haven’t done it before. Overall, I think the class went well. We didn’t get to the last activity, and we didn’t cover the final two small content areas, but I realized that we would run out of time before it was too late.
At about 10 minutes before the class was supposed to end, I did a short wrap-up. I went to the last slide, where I had listed each of the areas we covered, and briefly summarized each topic. Then I described the activity that we would have done if we had had time. They had collected some data for one of the earlier activities, and they would have done some practice analysis with it in their groups. Knowing the activity, they could think about it on their own. Finally, I mentioned the two areas we did not cover and told them to read those sections carefully in the textbook.
I didn’t beat myself up about running out of time, but I did make some decisions about the content and how I could do things differently next semester and make sure everything gets covered. A few days after class, I received a nice email from two of the students telling me that they really enjoyed the class, and they thought that the other students had been highly engaged. I think I am finally ready for next semester!