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Sophia Quattrocchi

Dr. Cho

C&T 598

25 June 2019

Critical Incident Reflection

During my time in the classroom, I have realized how much work and planning is needed

for teaching a successful lesson. It has been challenging to create lessons that are both

educational and enjoyable for the students. It has also been challenging to give directions and

explain material in a way that is easy for the students to understand. During our very first day

teaching, a situation that proved difficult was when we were explaining our charades activity.

While the activity ran smoothly in my mind, there was miscommunication and poor execution

during the actual activity.

We had planned that students would play charades in teams of six, and students would

act out one word for their team and one of us would check their answers. We had planned that

students would do one word at a time and once everyone got the correct answer then they would

move onto the next word. However, since we didn’t explain the directions clearly, the students

raced through the words. Some teams were on the fifth word while others were still on the

second word. The students were having fun but moving way too quickly for the amount of time

remaining in class. We also had another teacher help us with the charades activity, and we did

not explain the rules well to her either. She was in charge of giving the students words, and since

she was unclear on the directions this also led to the students doing the activity too quickly.

Since the students were doing the activity too fast, we had to stop in the middle of the game in

order to re-explain the rules and make sure the groups were doing the words one at a time. Since
we stopped and changed the rules the students were now even more confused on how to play the

game. Some students asked several questions because they were confused. I was very

embarrassed and felt defeated, especially because Dr. Cho, Greg, and the other KU students

looked confused at the activity as well. One student even asked Dr. Cho about the game rules in

Korean, which made me feel terrible. The situation was very chaotic and when we tried to fix the

rules, it only made the students more confused. Part of me wanted to give up and do another

activity, but we had nothing else planned. This made me realize how teachers must be prepared if

a lesson doesn’t go as planned, and must be prepared to make changes on the spot. As a result,

we explained and demonstrated the new rules of the activity to the students once again, and

eventually they caught on. Though our new rules were more organized, they still weren’t optimal

for the activity to run smoothly.

When we finally finished the lesson, we knew the activity ran poorly, and we knew we

needed to make several changes to our lesson. In our meeting with Dr. Cho, we felt very defeated

but she helped us think of ways to improve our lesson. Since we underestimated how long the

charades would take, we ended up adding another activity. We had the students write skits,

which ended up being much more successful because it had the students use creativity and use

the material in both writing and speaking. The skits ended up being our main activity, and we

drastically changed the charades. Instead of the students acting out the charades in teams, we

acted out the slang words for students while they guessed. This was much more efficient and

allowed for more time for the skit writing activity. Creating our lesson plan was definitely an

ongoing process that required several changes throughout the week in order to make the lesson

run more smoothly.

The difficulties we faced in the first lesson made me realize how much planning and

time management must go into a lesson. It made me realize how much work teachers put into

each lesson and how difficult it is to have a lesson run smoothly. As a high school student, I

never thought about how much work my teachers put into each lesson. During our first time

teaching I found out that even though a lesson may run smoothly in my mind, it is hard to know

until it is actually executed in class. I discovered that lesson planning is an ongoing process and

changes will need to be made in class and throughout the week. Our lesson would’ve ran more

smoothly if we had better managed our time, and thought of how to explain the rules more

simply. In the future, I plan to have the activity rules written down simply both for the students

and myself. With the rules written down the students can both read and listen to the instructions,

and I as a teacher will be better prepared to explain the directions in a clear concise manner. In

the future, I will be more prepared to explain the directions and to make changes on the spot if

there is a problem with the lesson. I have learned that planning is essential but until you get into

the classroom it is hard to predict how a lesson will run. Overall, I have learned that planning,

time management, and clear concise directions are essential to running a successful lesson.

However, even with extensive preparation, I have realized that teachers must be able to problem

solve in the classroom.