Teaching teachers teaching

This week should be chock full `o irony for me because I get to spend much of it teaching K-12 teachers how to teach K-12 students. Mind you, I have no formal teaching training, no experience with this grade range and almost certainly less hands-on teaching time than everyone I am charged with, um, teaching. But I have rhythm....

Luckily I am not being thrown to the wolves. I have a specific roll in terms of designing the science that will back the course material and will be providing a specific module and the background necessary to implement it in the classroom. Perhaps more critically, I have been working with a grade school teacher who will be joining me in the classroom to lead the implementation discussions. He will also be employing several common (so I am told) group teaching techniques to help keep the group focused and attentive.

My big secret is that I think I may learn more than many of those looking back at me. Part of my motivation for participating in this outreach program is to pick up bits and pieces of teaching philosophy and methodology that I can begin to bring back to my own classroom. I've tried the straight-up lecture approach and added in some student participation activities, but have been unimpressed with the results. At the same time, I haven't been committed enough to go out of my way to learn new teaching styles in the face of my other obligations at work. This program allows me to contribute to the schools in my local area, while hopefully learning a lot about different approaches for engaging students.

Plus, I'm really interested to see if teachers revert to the student-like behaviors they try and stomp out of their own classes the second they are on the other side of the desk.

6 responses so far

  • Natalie says:

    I think a followup post with a summary of what you learned would be really valuable, if you have a chance.

  • Dr. Dad, PhD says:

    Hmmm... I think it's kinda funny that I recently removed the interaction you describe from the draft of my "Statement of Teaching Philosophy" that I've been preparing for potential academic job applications.

    Let us know how it went (and maybe I'll add that section back in....)

  • studyzone says:

    Have fun with the workshop! Whenever I lead a workshop for K-12 teachers, I find that the vast majority of them are eager participants who are thrilled to pick up new lesson ideas, and to have someone else leading a class, for a change! I did have to remind one teacher to turn off her cell phone since it kept going off during the workshop. I also learned to separate teachers from the same school into different groups (when possible) - cuts down on off-topic conversations.

  • I've taken part in our outreach program and teaching the teachers. It was pretty fun and if they are participative its usually a good time. But if they are dead eyed zombies beyond the reach of the caffeine jolt or could give a shit to be there, its game over.

  • Pharm Sci Grad says:

    Dude, teachers make the worst students. That's gotta be a meme or something somewhere... as it's wisdom passed down to me from my parent (20 year teacher). Best of luck with it though, I'm sure you'll pick up a thing or two that still applies to 20-somethings... 😉

  • [...] again this summer, I am teaching science teachers science. It's my second year helping with this program and it's something I enjoy (despite the crappy [...]

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