Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Perfect Lesson

In The enthusiasm correlation from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin states,

“The question: were they enthusiastic because it was a great event? Or did it feel like a great event because they were enthusiastic?”

This had me thinking about my classroom lessons. Some of my lessons are better than others. Sometimes the lessons I think will be great, turn out to be a flop and the ones I think are just okay will be the most engaging.

 I wish there was a magic ruler that I could use for all my lessons to tell me in advance if it measures up. I know that some lessons have to be taught because they are required, and I may try to enhance it a little to make it more interesting. Of course, I may think it is interesting, but my students don’t. Then other times, they find the subject fascinating and I’m surprised.

I think the problem with trying to figure out the magic recipe for the perfect lesson is that every day is different. Students can be affected by the weather, their peers, their family, their health (whether they don’t feel well or have seasonal allergies), or even a chance encounter in the hallway with someone they don’t know. There might be something they saw or heard that puts them in a good or bad mood. The same goes for me. How I feel that day may affect how I teach the lesson.

I know that when I plan a lesson, I need to find ways that will help the student become engaged even when they don’t feel like it. I might be lucky, and it might work. Then sometimes it might not work but I will know that I did my best. Sometimes I try to find things that I think will help the students connect but I’m not sure if it will work. I love the feeling when I try it and it goes well. I always know when I planned a mediocre lesson and I know when I put enough effort into a lesson. But when I put a lot of effort and it doesn’t go over well, I feel disappointed.

I think it is important to reflect on a lesson when it is over. I like to think of the parts that went well and try to figure out why it went well. If it didn’t go well, I want to try to figure out why it didn’t. Hopefully I can use this information to help my next lesson be even better. But I have to remember that if it doesn’t, it isn’t always about me and not let it get me down. It becomes a problem when my lessons aren’t going over well on a consistent basis. Then I need to rethink that it might be my fault and not the students.

When the lesson really feels like it went perfect, I wonder if it went well because the kids were engaged or were the kids engaged because the lesson went well.

Did you have a perfect lesson? How did you know? Please share.

Photo by Jonathan Hoxmark on Unsplash

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