AET Micro-Teach: Your Comprehensive Guide
The Level 3 Award in Education and Training (AET) is your first step into teaching. Within the qualification, you explore the roles and responsibilities of a teacher and tutor. One unit, however, stands out among the rest. This is the unit where you have to complete an AET micro-teach. This can be extremely scary for learners, especially those just getting into teaching for the first time. However, it shouldn’t be something to be afraid of. It’s an integral part of teaching, and it’s great practice! In this guide, I’ll be taking you through the micro-teach and how you can best prepare.
An AET micro-teach is a short-form lesson. In essence, you’re going to be giving a short lesson to other trainee tutors completing the AET course. Within the micro-teach, it lets you focus on a specific subject. Not only that, but you can also focus on teaching skills such as lesson planning, delivery, and student engagement. These are all great skills to have, and the micro-teach is a great start to using them effectively.
What can I teach?
So we know what an AET micro-teach is, but now what can you teach? That is completely up to you! You can teach something from your specific area. For example, if you’re a hairdresser, you can do a lesson on hairstyles or different types of hair. If you work in interpretation, you can do a lesson on basic sign language or the history of it.
However, sometimes it’s better for you as a practitioner to come away from what you do. Then you can use your hobby as a lesson; for example, are you good at crocheting, sewing, or baking? Or you could use something you’re interested in. You could know a lot about a specific topic in history, geography, or even English!
When I completed my micro-teach, I made sure I did it on a topic I knew I could speak about and that I was confident in as well. I may have been nervous to conduct the AET micro-teach in itself, but I knew I could speak confidently about my topic as I knew it inside out.
We often get asked about the duration of the lesson. Being a short lesson, it should be 15 minutes and no longer than 20. It’s important to have your schedule planned out. How long will your introduction be? Are you going to go through some housekeeping rules? Plan the times for each section, how long you’ll cover the main part of the lesson, and how long you’ll give the learners to do the task. If you have time, do you want to do an extension challenge? These are all really good things to think about when it comes to time planning.
Now, things may not always go according to plan. You may go over your planned times; however, it’s always good to keep an eye on the time! Backups are also really important; you’ll need to plan if things go wrong.
Use notes, but make sure it doesn’t look like you’re reading off of them. This applies if you’re doing a PowerPoint presentation as well. Don’t make it look like you’re just reading off the slides. We all know about death by PowerPoint, so it’s important to have a balance between text and images. Some learners may find it more beneficial to have images so they can visually see what you’re explaining. For example, if you’re talking about politics or LGBTQ+ issues, it’ll be helpful to see images of rallies and marches as well as the flags that symbolise this issue.
Alternatively, you don’t even have to use PowerPoint! You can talk and demonstrate with your hands; this could be if you’re teaching a language. You could be teaching a lesson on the basics of German counting. Then you would use relay and repetition within the lesson, as well as using your hands to count. You could also include a short video for them to watch. It all depends on what you’re lesson is about and how you feel it would be best presented.
This isn’t something that you should be stressed or anxious about. The micro-teach is a great opportunity to show off your skills and also learn from your peers. What helped me was practicing with family and friends. You can get them to time you as you deliver the lesson. At the end, they can also give you feedback, so you have room to improve. Potentially, you could even deliver the lesson to your pets if you want to practice!
It isn’t as bad as you think it is when you start. You’ll be given time to set yourself up before you start delivering the lesson. There are also some extremely good resources that Brooks and Kirk have to help you with the AET micro-teach. Especially if you’re planning your lesson. You won’t be left in the dark at all when it comes to the AET course.