Brookfield??™s four lenses
I have found that when I talk to my colleagues within the catering department, or from another department, about any problem or the way a lesson went I have found it to be very useful. I have found it relevant to converse with not only people who have taught for years but also people who are new to teaching. I have found that some of the older lecturers do not always give good advice. Sometimes their experience does not match the student learning styles or takes into account current practice. This could be, for example, chalk and talk or rote learning.
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I have found that an observation is a useful way of knowing how a lesson went. Though I have been observed by my mentor and by the University for this Course, I have found that their lack of knowledge of the catering industry does not affect their appraisal of the way I teach. I have been given some useful teaching points and could see where I could apply them. I have also tried out some points and found that some points work and some points do not. Inviting other lecturers to observe me or by talking to them has made a change to my teaching. Brookfield (1995) p30, has written:
Our colleagues??™ experiences. By inviting colleagues to watch what we do, or by engaging in critical conversations with them, we can notice aspects of our practice that are normally hidden from us. As they describe their reading of, and responses to, situations that we face, we see our practice in a new light.
This year is my first time of teaching a theory lesson and I found it uncomfortable to teach. I thought that my theory lesson was a disaster. I thought that I made a real hash of every thing. I asked my mentor if I could get observed so I could see where I was going wrong with my lesson and how to change the lesson to help me with future lessons.
After I had been observed in the lesson and was debriefed, I was asked how the lesson went. I thought the lesson went badly, but to my amazement the lesson went well according to my observer. I had a STE done by my mentor to see how I could make improvements for future STE. This was my third lesson in teaching theory. I thought that I was droning on and had lost the students. I had not lost the students but was stumbling on with the presentation. I found the debrief a useful way to show me where I could make the changes so that I could change my teaching delivery. I also came up with ideas to help with the delivery. I could use prompt cards to bring the theory lesson into one smooth lesson and not with the annoying um or long pauses. I have found that the way we reflect is to start by asking ourselves, then asking for help. This is according to Brookfield (1995) P36:
Although critical reflection often begins alone, it is ultimately a collective endeavour. We need colleagues to help us know what our assumptions are and to help us change the structure of power so that democratic action and values are rewarded, both within and outside our institutions.
By using the colleague??™s??™ experience I have found this way very useful. I have found ways to engage the students more with the lessons and how to deliver my lesson. I found if you do not think the advice you were given is good, then you can ask someone else.
There could be drawbacks in asking for help with the lesson. This could be that the person you ask does not know the group you are teaching or they do not understand what you mean and give you the wrong teaching method, or they are unapproachable and do not care about your problem.
I have always asked if I had a problem in my teaching but did not know that it was a form of reflecting.