Micro-teach is a teacher training programme in which students and teachers enrich their teaching skills through practising teaching and scaling down the class size, duration, teaching skill and size of the topic under controlled conditions. (Allen, 1966)
Microteaching originated in 1961 at Stanford University and was used as a demonstration lesson involving students presenting in a small group. It is the practice of teaching to other teachers and peers to get feedback on the strategies and techniques used in teaching a lesson. Most learners who take a teaching qualification will at some point deliver a short lesson to their peer group which allows them to demonstrate their skills, knowledge and understanding. It's easier for the learner to absorb information when microteaching lessons are taught in small sections. The session is entirely focused on the learning taking place. Hence, it is best to plan the session.
Planning your micro-teach session
Try to keep your session time and goal in sync. Think about the topic you are planning to deliver and prepare a session plan with assessment activities and resources which can be used. Structure your group and find out their learning preferences and any individual needs to be catered to. Your session should also be divided into pieces starting from the introduction. This structuring of your session should be in the following order;
- The middle section to take topic development is into account,
- Ending and conclusion session to show a logical progression of learning.
Exploring learner potential
You should ask learners if they have prior knowledge of the subject and you will be surprised to know about their previous experience and knowledge base. This initial assessment activity will benefit your session where learners can be asked to participate, demonstrate and provide valuable feedback to less experienced members. This approach gives a boost to your session and facilitates learners.
Tips to consider when delivering your micro-teach session
Session delivery is an art. You can plan and construct lesson plans but the practicality of lesson planning is an area every teacher or instructor explores and sets for themselves. Here are a few tips to keep you going;
- When you are there in front of your audience, take a look at them and maintain eye contact. You might want to take a few deep breaths and use your smile to calm yourself down. This should help you relax. And then you can continue to introduce yourself.
- Never mention that you are nervous, act calm.
- Speak at a reasonable volume. You don’t want people to feel uncomfortable but speak clearly and be aware of your posture.
- There are instances when your mind might go blank! It’s easy to get back to your plan and follow the points so keep one in your hands.
- Involve your learners. Ask them questions and engage them in your lesson. This way it will give you the confidence to be in charge and time to think and explore your topic.
- Don’t deliver the lesson too quickly, it gives a poor impression.
- Address some people during the lesson. Take names, to have them written down in advance will help.
- Don’t be afraid to repeat things. Recap and reinforce your points.
For a quick session you might not have enough time for activities but if you do; move around while your learners are working and help them or observe them. It shows that you are in control.
At every point during the micro-teach session, you will be assessing your students and their learning potential. Open questioning can be considered to assess the knowledge of learners. A good hallmark of any teacher is the ability to ask questions so make sure your questions are structured properly. It helps to unfold discussions and assess learning potential in your learners.
Later, you may want to evaluate how the session went. It is an important aspect of your learning and development. Feedback from learners will help you understand deeply and also improve further. While evaluating yourself and your session try to consider your strengths and areas of development. The combination will help you accept your areas of improvement while providing an overview of the better aspects of the session conducted.