Activity: Learning about the Instructional Cycle from a Teacher 


This activity gives you practice talking with a teacher about the instructional cycle. It will help you learn more about the five phases of the instructional cycle. It may also help you get more comfortable talking with teachers about instruction.


  1. Identify a teacher willing to talk with you about the instructional cycle. If you already work as a parapro, you can talk with your own teacher. If you don’t work as a parapro, ask someone you know who is a teacher. If that doesn’t work, you can contact a local school to find a teacher who will volunteer to talk with you. Explain what you are doing and ask for the teacher’s help.
  2. Write out a list of questions about each step in the instructional cycle. For example, you might ask, “What activities do you perform when you plan a lesson?” In fact, be sure to have a question that asks what the teacher does at each stage in the instructional cycle. Try not to write notes during the interview.
  3. Right after the interview, however, write down what you remember hearing in response to each of your questions.
  4. Reflect on what you learned. If you are completing this activity with a group, discuss what you learned with them.

INSTRUCTOR’S NOTE: If you are using this activity with a group of students in a paraprofessional training program or workshop, you might want to organize small-group discussions in which the students talk about what they learned from their conversations with the teachers they interviewed.