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  • LoveTeaching Week

Tips, Tricks, and Lessons Learned by Beth Siebold

The biggest trick I have learned is being flexible. It is okay if a lesson doesn’t go as planned and you need to modify it so it works for your students. Each day is different; each class is different; knowing your students and being willing to adjust makes things much easier.

Just last week, in my Food Safety and Sanitation class, I had to adjust my plans. This course is note-heavy, and often loses kids quickly. This semester, I decided to try interactive notebooks to make students more accountable for their learning.

Students have adapted well. Instead of taking long written notes before our food label project, I printed out labels, and students marked their own food labels with needed definitions for each part. This has then been their guide for all other lessons and for their end-of-unit project.

Along with being flexible, I have to remember that no Culinary 1 class is the same. All of my classes might all have 6 groups of 4 kids, but none are identical. At the start of the semester, I do the usual “get-to-know-you” activities, but I also let the students sit where they like, and then I observe and listen. This allows me to get to see how students work together on classwork, but also gives me a glimpse of how they will work together in the labs. Sometimes, I am wrong, but most of the time, I can tell how a lab is going to go based on how the students do on assignments and class work.

My 4th hour is the one that stands out the most, since I see them the most during a given week. They have asked for more labs and get to redo labs that they struggled with, since we have had extra time together. Sometimes, you get students and classes that hate doing culinary labs, but this class loves baking and chocolate! I have to be able to adjust to what my classes need, and that has made all of us happier in the classroom.

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