Teachers and Knowledge
The teacher in my grade 3 class is one of those teachers I aspire to be. Incredibly calm and collected even during the most hectic of moments! That was especially true during my visit this week, as I visited on a Friday. The students were obviously eager for the weekend, and it was difficult for them to focus during some parts in the morning. I loved seeing how the teacher approached the situation depending on the student in question. Some of the students only needed a gentle reminder, but for others they needed to switch tasks completely to become engaged again. It was excellent to see the free choice they had and how well the students could implement that when given the opportunity and trust to do so. In writing, the students were asked to describe how to make/do/create something step by step. The teacher listed a few prompts on the board but gave the students the choice to write whatever they wanted. I was lucky enough to get to conference with the students after and go through a checklist on their writing improvement. Some of the students wrote about how to carve pumpkins, how to tie a shoe, how to skateboard, how to make pancakes, or a variety of other different things. When conferencing, we never discussed steps they may have missed in their directions, spelling mistakes, or neatness. We talked only about making sure they had focused on one of the writing traits they were learning, in this case, informative writing.
This class does have quite a few students with different academic needs, and luckily there is a large support of Educational Assistants throughout the day to help pull students for body breaks, small group work, and breakout groups for certain subjects they might need assistance with. The communication was important here between the teacher and the EA, and something I was glad I got to witness because I know this is something I will face in my teaching career. The staff always seems to be working towards a common goal; how to best educate the students, no matter how diverse their needs are.