Whether you have a B.ED degree or havelearned teaching from online teaching courses; they all teach you enough to fill you to the brim with confidence. But demo lessons are where most teachers seem to lose steam.
Demo lessons are often the final stage of the interview process. And, for most teachers, it’s the most stressful phase.
If you are one of them, don’t worry. We’ve got your back! This article will make you familiar with all the essential elements of a successful demo lesson. All you need is to follow it down to the tiniest detail.
A demo lesson is the most important part of a teacher training program. But what exactly is a demo lesson?
Demo lessons are lessons that you plan and implement for students or adults pretending to be students at a school. It is like auditioning to become a teacher at the school.
Demo lessons are often the most difficult part of the hiring process. It is obvious that you are not familiar with the needs of students. This makes it difficult to manage students’ behaviour and know what content to teach. You may also have to try out strategies that you learned during your learning English by skype but don’t have much experience with.
School administrators and hiring managers are well aware of the effects these challenges have on demo lessons. So, they don’t expect perfection. However, they expect you to keep students safe and teach them something valuable.
Here is how you can prepare for a demo lesson—
Bring all the materials that you intend to use during the class
You’re probably already nervous and don’t need any more nervousness. Thankfully, you can avoid potential problems and unnecessary challenges by being well prepared.
There are many variables that you cannot control. But the ones you can control should be well within your control. Having to stop mid-lesson to check where the tape is or having to erase a board with your hands because you don’t have an eraser will eat at your confidence. You must have all the materials for the lesson ready at hand. This includes a tape for your charts, an eraser, markers, and any other items you may need. Even if you are sure the school will provide these, it’s better to carry your own supplies.
Be creative but not so much that what you teach sails right over your students’ heads
All of us are proud of the creative moments in our classrooms, those meticulously planned lessons that turn out like magic. But then you knew your students, which is partly why the magic happened. It took you time to build rapport with your students. And this rapport helped you a lot in devising the right strategies for your classes. At a demonstration, you don’t have that.
You have 20-40 minutes to demonstrate your creativity and effectiveness in a classroom filled with unknown faces. So, be creative but not overly creative. Your thoughtfulness and ability to plan a solid lesson will be remembered, not your off-the-wall ideas.
Plan for student interaction
You should plan how you will facilitate student interaction during the lesson. For example, you could help students partner up for a group activity. This is a crucial step that teachers often forget. But it can lead to chaos and make it appear that you are unable to handle a class. You also lose time that you already have so little of.
If you plan to make students work in groups, decide on what basis you will ask them to choose their partners. The best bet would be to use a strategy to group them easily, such as using their roll numbers or the first letter of their names.
This is especially important if you are teaching lower grades. Explain to students what they should do, how they should do it, and for how long.
Engage the students
Sometimes teachers get so caught up in the details that they forget the basic idea that a lesson should be interesting. Try to imagine yourself as a student. What would keep you interested during a 45-minute lesson with a teacher that you have never met?
It doesn’t matter how interesting your lesson content is; if students listen passively, they’re probably only partially engaged. Throughout the duration of the lesson, students should interact with you, other students, and the content.
For better engagement, use a hook at the beginning of your lesson to get students interested. Grab their attention at the outset itself by showing a video, doing a demonstration, or telling a funny story. This will help you make them feel involved in the lesson.
Keep the lesson and the teaching simple
It is rare for demo lessons to end on time. The lessons almost always exceed the deadline. And this happens mainly because teachers tend to over-plan. Although this isn’t a problem, administrators appreciate the ability to teach lessons from start to finish in the time allowed. This is why it is important to keep things simple. You won’t have to curtail the class. However, you may need to reduce the scope of your goal.
To make sure you finish your class on time, break down each lesson into time increments and then practice with a timer or a video recording device. The latter is highly recommended. Continue practicing until you are able to execute the lesson within the time limit. It will take some practice, but it is worth it.
What every good teacher training program tells potential teachers about demo lessons—
Your demo lesson may not go as planned. But is it important to learn something from every demo class you take? Even if your demo was a disaster, you could talk about it at the debrief.
It doesn’t really matter how perfect your demo lesson was, but you should take responsibility for what you did wrong and identify what you could do better if given a chance. School administrators seek teachers who are open to constructive feedback and reflecting on their mistakes. They are, in fact, the best teachers to work with because they are committed, thoughtful, and coachable. Trust us; you can save a bad lesson by showing your zeal as a teacher, your diligence, your ability to connect with students, and of course, honesty.