Yes, Dr Loughland, the former self-proclaimed Dark Prince of Pedagogy, darkened the doorstep of a primary classroom. This is the raw account of my uncensored feelings and thoughts of my first foray into classroom teaching for five years.
I taught because I was goaded by my teacher colleagues and gently encouraged by my lovely partner. I taught because I read David Didau’s great blog post on modelling and observation. I taught because in my conscience I thought I needed to. I taught because I was desk bound and sick of writer’s block. I taught because I have a wonderful colleague who is a principal of a nearby primary school (thanks Michelle!).
I taught a lesson. 45 minutes of stage 3 science on phases of the moon. A guest gig that is ridiculously easy compared to the everyday relentless teaching/learning cycle heroically enacted by real teachers everywhere.
I need to let you know that I research adaptive teaching. I have been observing wonderful adaptive teachers for 3 years. Today I taught. I was not adaptive. I was so nervous I felt sick. I stuck to my time-honoured repertoire. I engaged. I entertained. I interacted with the students who were keen and avoided the students who had no idea. A leopard doesn’t change its spots.
So what did I learn from my brief foray into real classroom teaching? It is still enormously rewarding to think through challenging topics with enquiring young minds. It is humbling to sit with students as they wrestle intellectually with tough questions. It is great to think on your feet and make teaching decisions on the hop. It really is fun without all of the extra-curricular responsibilities that sometimes make teaching onerous.
I get to teach the same lesson to the other stage 3 class in a fortnight. I am lucky. I taught. I teach. I am alive again.