What Is Microteaching?
Microteaching is organized practice teaching. The goal is to give instructors confidence, support, and feedback by letting them try out among friends and colleagues a short slice of what they plan to do with their students. Ideally, microteaching sessions take place before the first day of class, and are videotaped for review individually with an experienced teaching consultant. Microteaching is a quick, efficient, proven, and fun way to help teachers get off to a strong start.
How to microteach.
As many as six teachers from the same or similar courses can participate in a single microteaching session. Course heads, a few experienced instructors, and a Bok Center staff member are usually invited to serve as facilitators. While one person takes his or her turn as teacher, everyone else plays the roles of students. It is the job of these pretend pupils to ask and answer questions realistically. It is the job of the pretend teacher to involve his or her "class" actively in this way.
Such a scenario typically runs for five to ten minutes. When finished, the person conducting the class has a moment or two to react to his or her own teaching. Then everyone else joins in to discuss what they saw that they especially liked. Finally, the group may mention just a few things that the practice teacher might try doing differently in the future.
Like all Bok Center tapes, videos of these sessions are for the benefit of those taped and will not be seen by anyone else without the explicit permission of the practice teacher. Session tapes can even be erased immediately if the practice teacher wishes. Nearly everyone, however, finds it extremely helpful to make an appointment to view and discuss their tape together with a Bok Center consultant.
What to prepare.
Most course heads provide microteachers with scenarios to prepare in advance. If not, think of a few minutes of material that you especially would like to make sure your students understand by the end of your next class. As always, you should not only plan out how to treat the subject matter, but also give some thought to how you are going to present yourself, manage the class, and involve the students. There are, of course, many different ways of teaching a given lesson well. That is why participants find that, along with what they learn from their own experience practice teaching, they can also pick up many helpful ideas from observing fellow microteachers.
Copyright © 1999 Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning. Permission is granted to educational institutions to reproduce this document for internal use provided the Bok Center's authorship and copyright are acknowledged.
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What Is Microteaching?