When I first heard about our field placements I was pretty nervous going out into classrooms but surprisingly, I woke up yesterday without any nerves whatsoever.
I got to go to a grade 1 class at Imperial Community School for my placement and was welcomed right away by my supervising teacher. So to start things out she took me on a tour around the school. I got to meet the other teachers working there, one of them was even an intern at my high school when I was still in school which I found interesting, it’s a small world. There were many pictures and displays of work on the wall which I found welcoming and showed that it is about the students. One thing I found unique coming from a small town is that there was a room that kids could go to in the morning to get breakfast, something I never got to have in school. I thought that it would be an excellent way to bring kids together and make in a welcoming environment. When we got back in the classroom I noticed that there were four pods of desks, each one a slightly different number of desks, as well as being arranged differently. I found out later that this allowed students to be split up into sections, like one group that got further on an assignment would go to this pod, since they were all at about the same place. As well this allows kids to still be social, to share, and to help each other out which is important at that age.
When we got back to the classroom children started flowing in from outside, each hanging up their jackets and heading to grab their reading they had to do, all while looking strangely at the new body in the room. To start the day they had their reading and after being introduced I got to go around to each of the students and talk with them briefly. Some students were very shy, covering their faces with their books as I approached them, however they did speak to me a little bit in the end. One student Jace was pumped to talk to me, telling me about his skateboards and scooter he has. After their reading it was time to sit on the carpet. The kids sung songs about their days of the week, learned about some way to help them read through the use of animals, and learned some new phonics, again through music. One thing I noticed was that the kids that were participating got what the teacher called a “lucky duck” adding it beside their names. So far I haven’t seen what happens when someone gets enough “lucky ducks” but I’m sure it is safe to assume a prize is involved.
After carpet time and some writing it was recess and I got the privilege of freezing with the children. At one point some of the kids from the class I am in ran up to me wanting high fives and at another point a grade 3 student came up to me asking what I was doing there. So I explained it to her and we talked for a bit until she ran off to go play.
After recess I got to help the students with their pattern sheet for their math class and that was about it for the day. Overall I had a great time and learned a lot about how the younger grades are now. Somethings are similar like using songs to learn but the way the room was arranged was a nice change from when I was that age. The room was welcoming and allowed kids to be organized but still have a sense of freedom. I learned a lot about the kids and classroom, even getting a picture taken with me and the kids I was working with that day. I had a great experience yesterday and I am looking forward to the next coming weeks.
What an adventure this has been! I remember before the field placements started I was quite nervous, unsure if what it would be like. However I soon discovered that it would be a fantastic experience I will never forget.
The students were fabulous to work with, with all of them taking a liking to me and my partner. They worked well with us and each other, and I would not have changed that group for the world. Our teacher was also fantastic, she would always work with us when we needed it and would always answer any questions we had. I am grateful that she let us into her class and took us under her wing so to speak. Some of the things she did and they ways she taught were things I had never seen before. She taught me that students do not always need to be punished, sometimes they just need to be redirected and I feel that that concept will stick with me for my teaching career.
I was interesting to see how the lectured interconnected with our weekly questions and helped me think and come up with answers for them. There were a lot of ideas I had never really thought about until taking this class. I was always aware of diversity in schools but never looked further than the cultures of people in the classroom. So it was interesting to stop and look at the ways diversity was represented in the school. Another thing I stopped and looked at was the way the students were accepted and welcomed into the school.
Overall this was a awesome experience that I feel has set me on the right path to becoming a teacher. I still have a lot to learn about teaching but this field experience has shown me how to include all students and cultures as well as make sure they feel welcome and appreciated. It has taught me how to make the students, the real priority.