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Review ~ Practice Teaching: A Reflective Approach

A practical guidebook for a teacher in training about to enter their student teaching semester which takes you step by step through the process of teacher training and beyond, into your own classroom.
Reviewed for Teflnet by Kay Gil
Practice Teaching

Practice Teaching

Practice Teaching, A Reflective Approach is a practical guide for a teacher about to start their student teaching experience. It gives any novice teacher insight into this often daunting rite of passage for all teachers. This would be an excellent guide to anyone entering his or her teacher training course and could easily be used as a textbook for such a course.

This book is well laid out and speaks directly to the student teacher with detailed advice on how to approach the student teaching classroom. It examines the student teaching experience and asks the teacher to reflect on how this experience will form them as a teacher. This book reads like a playbook for teachers, giving advice on what to expect when being evaluated, how to plan a lesson and what to do when you are finally in your own classroom.

Each chapter presents a different stage in the teacher training process and how to maintain these practices once you are teaching independently. The book starts with a student who is micro-teaching with fellow teachers and moves onto working with a cooperating teacher, presenting lesson plans and finally exploring your own teaching style. This book is designed to support a student teacher and asks them to evaluate themselves throughout the process, trying to consider their role as a teacher and their part in the learning community.

Having completed my student teaching over ten years ago, I really enjoyed the layout and tone of this book, particularly the teacher comments collected from classrooms around the world. It gives this book a human element that is lacking in many other training guides. Each chapter is well formatted and easy to read, not overrun with sidebars or busy graphics. It is well balanced and gives very sensible advice and support for a first time teacher.

Each chapter includes a chapter summary, a list for further reading, follow up activities and discussion questions, allowing the teacher to reflect on their teaching practice and the process of teacher training. These activities also serve as a checklist for the student teachers to prepare for their teaching assignments and acknowledge that teaching requires more than lesson planning. This layout makes it very useful as both a classroom guide and a reference book. As I read through this book, I thought how helpful it would have been during my student teaching and thought it was a good tool to reflect on my current teaching practice. It would be a good book for anyone interested in language teaching to have on their bookshelf.

Reviewed by Kay Gil for TEFL.NET March 2013

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