Creating a Positive Learning Environment
As an instructor of carpentry, classroom and work shop management rules are an important component. Safety always comes first, as we are required to work with dangerous equipment, tools, and materials. I feel as though creating a positive learning environment begins from the very first class. Using certain techniques to connect with students and make them feel comfortable will enable them to want to learn the material. The Humber Centre for Teaching and Learning website, (http://www.humber.ca/centreforteachingandlearning/instructional-strategies/teaching-methods/course-development-tools/creating-a-positive-learning-environment.html), offers some great tips for using humour in the classroom to promote a positive learning environment. I feel that creating a positive learning environment is essential to allow adult learners to feel comfortable, safe and engaged.
I chose motivational techniques because I felt a personal connection with my own educational path when I was in school. I can still recall instructors of specific courses that had an impact on me because of the real life stories and humour they used while teaching. Using motivational techniques such as goal setting, stories and enthusiasm in the delivery of my future lessons will hopefully inspire my students to have more enjoyable and rewarding experiences in their education. An article from the eLearning Coach (http://theelearningcoach.com/elearning_design/isd/30-ways-to-motivate-adult-learners/), provides 30 examples of how instructors can motivate their students, and I intend to use many of those ideas in my future instruction. A few strategies to note are: Create useful and relevant learning experiences; Simulate the workplace; and Create an experience, not just a course.
For the assessments component of lesson planning, I chose the Carnegie Mellon Eberly Centre website (http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/assessment/assesslearning/), as my resource. The website features a section on Assessing Learning. They provide suggestions and strategies for assessing students’ learning and performance as well as ways to clarify your expectations and performance criteria to students. I chose this resources because assessments will play a critical part in my role as an instructor. I will use pre-assessments to see how much prior knowledge students have, as well as to break the ice with new students. Post-assessments are used to ensure students have learned the vital information prior to entering the work place. I also intend to use teacher feedback questionnaires to see if my lesson plans and teaching strategies are working with students, and what components may need some developing.
As a carpentry instructor, using media in classrooms is an emerging trend and I hope to use a variety of different technologies to improve my instruction. The WorkSafe BC website (http://www2.worksafebc.com/Portals/Construction/Home.asp), has a variety of videos, publications and other resources that will prove to be helpful to teaching students the safety aspects. There are many different ways that I can incorporate media in my classroom and work shop. I will be able to utilize youtube.com to show my class specific procedures and materials. This can help students visualize the work they will have to do in the work shop and on job sites. With all of the new web tools and media becoming available, I foresee great benefits to trades education.
As a carpentry instructor, lesson plans and objectives play a key role in the program. Students must work through the modules before moving onto the next lesson. As an instructor, it will be important for me to plan each lesson from every module so that students learn all of the required material before entering the work place. I found a useful resource from the Vocational Information Centre (http://www.khake.com/page82.html). The website has a long list of links to carpentry lesson plans. I feel that this could be very useful to me in the future as a starting point to creating my own curriculum documents. Having an organized classroom will provide smooth transitions for both instructor and student.
Lesson Planning Resources: