What is a micro-teach?
At the Axiom Dynamics training centre, one of the most frequently asked questions we receive is regarding the micro-teach. As part of the Level 3 AET qualification, this unit requires you to plan and deliver a 15-minute micro-teach on a subject of your choice. The micro-teach is basically a short lesson that allows you the opportunity to demonstrate all the core elements that would typically be in a full-length session.
We understand this may be quite a daunting thing to have to do, but we believe that it is crucial for you to get the opportunity to deliver this in front of a group of people and interact directly with YOUR learners.
Below we have laid out some top tips on how to put your micro-teach together.
What subject can I pick?
One of the most important aspects when considering your micro-teach is to pick a suitable topic. Some people will choose an area of the field they are looking to teach in like first aid or health and safety, whilst others will prefer something completely random, for example, a hobby or pastime. Whatever the subject, you should have good knowledge of it and be confident speaking about it.
You then want to pick a very small element of your subject. For example, if you decided you were going to talk about First Aid, you would maybe choose something like placing a casualty in the recovery position.
Have a clear lesson plan
You want to make sure you have got a clear aim plus 2 or 3 objectives for your micro-teach. There should then be an introduction to the session, a middle section or activity and a summary to finish things off. You also need to include some form of assessment to make sure everyone is learning, what you are teaching. This can be carried out through something like a question and answer session, group quiz or workbook. A common mistake that learners make in their micro-teach is to try to cover too much. 15 minutes may seem quite a long time to be standing up presenting to others, but it will be over before you realise so you should plan your lesson plan carefully.
If you are using PowerPoint, only use 4-5 slides maximum and try to keep the content within each slide to a minimum. Videos are an engaging resource but keeping them short and interactive. Remember you only have 15 minutes! If you decide to give out handouts, try not to contain too much information as this could distract your learners from the session. A good idea here is to hand these out at the end of as a recap for learners to take away with them. Try to adopt a blend of teaching resources for your micro-teach. This will keep learners engaged throughout the session.
This is not an area to be overlooked. As much as you will want to get started, there are several factors you should consider in your introduction. For example, do the learners already know you or do you need to tell them your name? Think of a 12-month course compared to a 4-hour session where you have maybe only met your learners before the lesson began. Your learners will also be eager to find out what is in store for them during the session, so a brief overview at this stage would be good.
This is information or ‘rules’ you maybe have in place for your session. For example, information may include things like where the toilets are located or what to do in an emergency, whereas the rules may be to switch off mobile phones or no talking over others. These need to be put in place before the session begins, otherwise you run the risk of behavioural issues throughout the course.
This is an opportunity to find out a bit more detail about your learners, almost like your own initial assessment. It also allows everyone to get involved early in the session and is a great way to demonstrate inclusion. You could ask simple questions like what are their names, what experience or knowledge have they of the subject or what do they want to take away from the session? However, you need to remember this could take up a large portion of your allocated time, meaning you do not get to complete your session, so think carefully about how much of this you want to include.
Your micro-teach can be a combination of theory, practical or both, followed by some form of assessment. What your assessor will be looking for in the micro-teach, is your demonstration of the core elements of teaching through a variety of styles. For example, what you do not want is your learners only looking and listening to you for the full 15 minutes. Of course, there will be elements of that as the session will have to include a certain amount of lecture, but you should also incorporate activities into the session so that you can involve your learners, either individually or as a group, to keep them engaged and motivated.
Another core element your assessor will be looking for in the micro-teach is assessment. This not only keeps your learners involved but allows you, as the trainer, to see that they are learning what you are teaching. This should be both throughout the session and as a recap at the end and can be simple things like asking questions to specific learners, some form of a quiz or a worksheet. By doing this, you will reinforce the fact that you have met your outcomes and that learning has taken place within the micro-teach.
As much as you will want your micro-teach to be a two-way process with learner interaction, always remember that you are in control of the session. Discussion points, group activities and even question and answers can run over the time you allocated to that part of the session. This is where you need take control. Do not be afraid to step in and move the session on in a polite manner. If you get flustered at any stage, ask a question. This will give you a few vital moments to gather your thoughts before you start again.
Keep learners engaged and motivated
Any good teacher or trainer knows that keeping your learners engaged and motivated throughout each session is vital. You will already have started this with your ice breaker at the beginning of the session, but you now need to keep it going. Asking questions, introducing activities and group exercises are all great ways to do this. Remember, if you deliver in a boring way, your learners will switch off. Show enthusiasm about your chosen topic; make eye contact with learners, use their name and give positive and constructive feedback.
Your summary at the end is just as important as the rest of your micro-teach. Do not make the mistake of seeing this as the finish line. When it gets to this stage, you should recap your aim and objectives and how your learners have met these. You can also use this time to ask if your learners have any further questions before you close. Remember to say thank you to your learners for their time. Being polite goes a long way.
One of the key things with your micro-teach, is to practice your timings at home. You may be surprised at how much longer or shorter it might take, depending on the elements you have included within it. Practical demonstrations and learner involvement can sometimes take longer than expected so allow for this in your timings. If you do, however, run short on the day, have another activity or a few more questions up your sleeve to get through the final minutes.
Do not worry. Throughout this process, your tutor will be on hand to help you plan your session and answer any questions you may have regarding your micro teach.
If you have any questions or would like to receive more information about any of our courses, please get in touch with us here.
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