After delivering this lesson, my biggest takeaway is this:
The questions we ask our students are far more important than any answer we may ever give them.
As history teachers, we are tasked with teaching our students how to think. Although it is challenging to step off of center stage and create a student-centered classroom, it is a challenge we must all accept. To better prepare lessons for my students going forward, I hope to center each day around a timeless central question. This central question will guide each decision made in class, serving as the foundation for the lesson. This central question will also provide structure to the class so that students can understand where they are and where they are going.
My hope is that centering each lesson around a central question will solve some of the challenges concerning clarity, purpose, and organization that I faced during this lesson. Additionally, I learned that more planning, rehearsal, and making sure that course content ties back to the central question will serve students well and make lessons significantly less stressful to teach.
Overall, this practice lesson helped expose what I’m doing well and what I need to pay more attention to. Additionally, it allowed me to practice a lesson in a lower-stakes environment before I deliver it to the class.
I look forward to doing more practice lessons in the future,