Activity: Learning about the Instructional Cycle from a Teacher 


The purpose of this activity is to give you practice talking with a teacher about the instructional cycle. It will familiarize you with the five phases of the instructional cycle and may also help you get more comfortable talking with teachers about instruction.


  1. Identify a teacher who is willing to talk with you about the instructional cycle. If you are already employed as a paraprofessional, you can talk with the teacher who supervises your work. If you are not currently employed as a paraprofessional, you can talk with a friend, relative, or neighbor who is a teacher; or you can contact a local school to find a teacher who will volunteer to talk with you.
  2. Develop a list of questions relating to each step in the instructional cycle. For example, you might ask, “what activities do you perform when you plan a lesson?” Be sure that you have a question that helps you gather information about what the teacher does at each stage in the instructional cycle.
  3. As soon after the interview as possible 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 of others who are working to improve their skills as paraprofessionals, discuss what you learned with them.
  5. 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.