These are mostly compilations of work that I did by myself and there are a few that I did with a group. The Saskatchewan Curriculum is used as basis for developing these works. I would continuously update it as I go through my teaching experiences.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
- Grade 7 Unit Plan: Doing our Part for Planet Earth
- Procedural Text: How to Make a Pasta
- Group lesson plan on Procedural Text: How to Make an Airplane
- Grade 5/6 Unit Plan : A Sustainable Lifestyle For Quality Life and Management of Canada’s Future
- Lesson Plan: Introduction to Sustainability
- Lesson Plan: Sources of Wealth in Canada
- Lesson Plan: Symbols of Canada
- Lesson Plan: People and their culture in Saskatchewan/Canada
- Lesson Plan: Differentiating Renewable and Non-Renewable Resources
- Lesson Plan: Natural Resources
Here are the links of my ECS 200 blogs from my previous wordpress account. These blogs are derived from our class discussions and readings.
WEEK EIGHT: OVER-ALL REFLECTION: LOOKING AT BIG PICTURES: INTERCONNECTEDNESS OF KNOWLEDGE, SCHOOL AND SOCIETY
At the front door of the school.
My ECS 100 field experience is at Grant Road School situated in Whitmore Park Community and Mrs. Kukura, the principal heads the 50 personnel of the school. The school caters to Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 8 level, wherein it has 15 regular classrooms, 1 Developmental class and while my field classroom is in a Grade 4 class. The whole journey of my weekly field experience enriches my knowledge as an aspiring teacher. It helps me focus on three things: the student, the teacher, and the school environment.
Grant Road School has a rich diversity of students, wherein it comprises of students from different cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs. The diversity of students in my assigned class alone is significantly observable. I noted that there are 1 Sudanese, 1 Syrian, 2 Filipinos, two Chinese, two Pakistanis and the rest were Canadian-born. Out of these Canadian-born,3 or 4 are Metis. The class composition gives me an idea that most of these students’ first language is not English. I also noted that some students have IPP, goes to the EAL teacher and some are pulled out by the Educational Assistant. The diversity of these Grade 4 students shows that they have different academic aptitude as well as learning style. More so, requires closer assistance to help improve their English communication skills, both in written and oral.
Meanwhile, My cooperating teacher has to consider the diversity of her students in preparing her classroom activities. More so, she takes into consideration the different ways of knowing by identifying the needs and capacity of her students. The coop teacher understands that not all of her students are academically at par with Grade 4 level. For instance, She divided her class according to their spelling skills. She will then prepare different spelling tests. She taught me that I have to be more knowledgeable of my students’ individual capacity to learn and that I have to take my time to develop a more efficient lesson plan each day. It also means that I should focus on how I could cultivate the interest of my students to learn and overcome any difficulties to meet academic expectation.
As for the school, it takes a lot of teamwork within the community to be able to promote a more positive learning environment. The principal always makes sure that she coordinates with the school staff, whether it is academic matters or not. Each person has to be considerate in using materials, such as technologies so that everybody could have an opportunity to use it as an educational tool. The adults in school also work very hard to make sure that the students are safe by having recess monitor. This taught me that adults in school does not only confine their care and attention to their advisory student but extends to every students in the school.
WEEK SEVEN: THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY
The Smartboard is often used for classroom activities.
The Grade 4 class uses various technology as an educational tool. All classrooms in Grant Road are sharing the school iPads and laptops. So, the teacher often makes sure that she booked it on time for her lessons. These technologies are in one of the prep rooms, and all the teachers are the one who has a key to the locked door. She makes sure to remind her students who return it to plug it, as consideration for others. She also tells the class to be careful in using the technologies and that everything is in the right bin. There is an instance that the iPads were not returned in the Prep room, She just buzzed the office, and the Principal herself made an announcement through the intercom, and the teacher from the other class quickly brought the iPads to her classroom.
The teacher has her laptop provided by the school that she connects on the Smartboard. She uses her laptop for communications with her students’ parents and colleagues via Microsoft Outlook. She likewise uses it in accessing the Grade book. Her Laptop has a connection to the school’s printer. The teacher also keeps a file of various apps that she could use on the Smartboard (e.g. grouping her students, handwriting) on her laptop.
The students use technology when they are doing their researches. For instance, the class of Ms. Hammet is working on how to do research writing. The students chose to the animal that they would write on. The first day of research activity, the teacher let her class use a laptop/iPad and allows her students to search for different animals on Google. The teacher also uses RazKids, an online reading app during her Daily 5. EAL students also use iPads/Laptops that helps them improve their English skills.
Meanwhile, the school library has a barcode system in borrowing books. Each student has their library card barcode and they usually make their bookmarks with it. The barcode system makes it easier for the teacher librarian to track down all the books, this includes lost books and unreturned books. The school also has a system that parents could pay online for any school expenses, such as field trips.The teachers could easily access online and know who are already paid.
WEEK SIX: CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION
Screenshot of Saskatchewan Curriculum Website
The class that I have my pre-intern is a Grade 4 class and diversity is noted in the classroom that the teacher does not focus entirely on Grade 4 curriculum. The teacher needs to consider those students who require modification with their academic expectation, an example is the students who have IPP. The teacher also needs to consider the academic level of her students who are in EAL program wherein each of these EAL students has different academic level. Thus, the teacher prepares several lessons for her class every day.
During the 6th week, the class is continuing their research essay on the animal of their choice. The teacher asked me to help out one EAL student. This EAL student is writing about tigers and he is already done looking for information. I was helping him turn his jot notes into paragraph because he still finds it difficult to do it on his own. I asked him what he wants to write on his essay and I scribed it for him on a separate paper. He would then copy it in his notebook. Aside from the paragraph writing, I reminded him to be sure that his letters are printed properly and watch out for his space. He was at first overwhelmed when he saw that he has to write several sentences. However, I diverted his attention by talking about our own experiences on visiting zoos and seeing tiger. We were chatting while he writes that he later did not seem to worry about the task but is thinking about the zoos here in Canada. At the end, he was able to finish his task on time and he seems satisfied about his accomplishment. I also assisted the teacher with her spelling activity. I have another EAL student who has different spelling test. I made sure that I gave the instruction clearly and see if the student could do it with minimal supervision. Of which, he did. I just reminded him to double check his work before he would show it to me for review. I also helped a few students who were not able to finish their math activity on fractions. Like the spelling activity, I made sure that my instruction is clear and the student understood the concepts of fractions (e.g. which one is the numerator and denominator). After instructing them, I just let them do the work with minimal supervision. I just reminded them to double check their answers before they will give it to me for review. Hence, these students were able to independently do their work.
I also assisted the teacher with her spelling activity. I have another EAL student who has different spelling test. I made sure that I gave the instruction clearly and see if the student could do it with minimal supervision. Of which, he did. I just reminded him to double check his work before he would show it to me for review. I also helped a few students who were not able to finish their math activity on fractions. Like the spelling activity, I made sure that my instruction is clear and the student understood the concepts of fractions (e.g. which one is the numerator and denominator). After instructing them, I just let them do the work with minimal supervision. I just reminded to double check their answers before they will give it to me for review. Hence, these students were able to independently do their work.
WEEK FIVE: INCLUSIVE EDUCATION-DIVERSITY AND DIFFERENCES
There are many ways that my pre-intern school honours diversity. First, the school acknowledges that there is a diversity of nationality and cultures of students. It is clearly evident not only in the classroom that I am doing my pre-intern. The diversity occurs in each and every classroom. Hence, the school creates a community song that has multiculturalism as a theme to promote good relationship within the community. I also noted that a poster of greetings from different languages is in the main school entrance. The school also promotes healthy relationship by creating group activities that promote the circle of courage/ medicine wheel.
Another way to show support of diversity is that the school has 14 educational assistants (EA). I am surprised to learn that they have a high number of EAs because there were only 4 of us from my previous work. However, I noticed that there is a lesser diversity of needs from my previous work compared to my pre-intern school. Ten of these EAs in my pre-intern school are spread out to help the teachers at all levels in the regular classroom. They often pull out students who are having difficulty coping in class. One of which are those EAL students. More so, the other 4 EAs help out in the developmental classroom. This shows that the school also caters to students who have different needs that could not be met in a regular classroom. Some of these students are wheel chair bound, and the school adjusted the environment so that these students could move around going in and out of their classroom. My pre-intern teacher informed me that there is one who has a prosthetic leg. His class is on the second floor but there is only a short flight of stairs and the students whose classrooms are on the second floor have a conscious effort to give him time and space whenever he is on the stairs.
WEEK FOUR: INCLUSIVE EDUCATION-DIVERSITY AND DIFFERENCES
This collage is in the 2nd floor hallway of the school.
The diversity that could easily be recognized in the classroom are the physical characteristics of the students. There are First Nations and some have Caucasian Features. There are students who are Chinese, Filipino, and Thai. There are also Pakistani, Syrian and Sudanese. Thus, it also means there is a diversity of languages inside the classroom. Meanwhile, some diversities need further time to be noticed. These are the different learning styles of the students and also students who have a possible learning difficulty. Wherein, there are some students who have fair pencil grip, still needs to improve writing on lined paper properly, and have inversions with their letters. There are also students that could concentrate if they are in a standing desk. The Pre-intern teacher commented that not all her students who are needing to see a child specialist has been met and assessed. However, the teacher always tries to coordinate with the child’s parents if she plans to do a modification with an activity or any intervention for the students to gain confidence and independence.
There also students who need constant emotional support than the rest of the class. I have noticed that there is one student who easily cries for a variety of reasons. (playground issues, unable to follow the teacher’s instruction). I do not know the child’s background information nor the underlying factors why she cries. However, I have noticed that the teacher always tries to give time to talk to her how she feels, most especially when she cries. There are also students who appear shy and needs constant assurance and prodding to be able to express their ideas, regardless if it is a language factor.
My pre-intern classroom has a rich diversity of students. The diversity that could easily be identified is nationalities and languages. There are also diversities that need more time to be recognized such as language ability, gross motor skills, and writing skills. Meanwhile, the teacher needs to likewise support the diversity of her students’ emotional needs. These are the factors that the teacher has to consider when she prepares her daily activities in her classroom.
WEEK THREE: TEACHERS AND KNOWLEDGE
Sample work of teacher
The Grade 4 teacher honours the different ways of knowing by identifying the needs and capacity of her students. The teacher has two students who have limited English skills, and she makes sure that these two girls be on their EAL session at 1:15 pm. The teacher also has prepared a language exercise that is apt for their level. She then asked my field partner and me to assist the two girls in finishing their work and gave emphasis that we work on their handwriting too. Afterwards, the class had a group activity about the food chain, and the teacher let the two girls played a board game about animals instead of joining a group because it requires a lot of reading. The two were engaged and seemed to enjoyed their activity as the rest of the class did theirs. Furthermore, some students are individually pulled out by an educational assistant (EA) to work within the hallway. The teacher had also prepared activities for these students, and the EA gave feedback to the teacher after she has worked with them. I noted that the teacher has done a lot of preparation to be sure that all her students meet the expected learning outcome for that day. She has also sought help from the EAL teacher and an EA to be sure that her students would be able to get the support that they need to cope in school.
Meanwhile, the teacher learned how to use the Smartboard and has files of different apps that she could use through the Smartboard. An example is the random group generator that she uses in grouping her students. The teacher usually searches for different apps and save it on her file for future use. She also prepared an activity on that day that requires laptops and iPads. She had booked the gadgets beforehand to be sure that her students have something to use. However, some of the iPads were not at the storage room of the school, and the teacher buzzed the office right away to remind that she had booked it and it was sent to her class immediately. At the end of the activity, she told the students to be sure that all gadgets are in the proper bin when they returned it to the storage room and are plugged in. I noted it as teaching the students to take care of their school equipment and be considerate to others who uses it too. As a teacher, one must have the foresight and proper planning so that all needed materials are ready for a class activity. Doing the preparation at the last minute could delay valuable learning period.
WEEK TWO: SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY
Resource: Google Map
Grant Road School is situated in Whitmore Park Community and it accepts Pre-Kindergarten up to 8th Grade students. It has 15 regular classrooms and one developmental classroom. Mrs. Kukura, the principal heads the 50 personnel of the school. There are 24 teachers in the school wherein 18 are regular classroom teachers, 3 are specialists, 1 Developmental Classroom teacher, 1 teacher librarian and the vice principal teaches the physical education classes. The school has 14 educational assistants; 10 are in regular classroom and 4 in developmental class. There are also 12 other support staff, academic and administrative. The school is easily accessible using bus 22 route and it is just around 17 minutes away from the university. The students who study here comes from a diverse cultural background.
The school decided that the primary level and intermediate level will have a separate assembly. I had the chance to observe the primary assembly and the students are grouped beforehand. They have the chance to be teamed up with students from different classes in the primary level and arrive in school wearing coloured t- shirt that represents their team. The 4 teams are based on the colours and values of the medicine wheel: (Yellow) Generosity; (Black) Belongingness, (Red) Mastery, and (White) Independence. I like the idea of grouping the students with other students from different levels because it helps promote good social skills. It also further builds a stronger sense of community in the school. I likewise find it a good idea to incorporate the core values of the Medicine Wheel in creating programs for group dynamics because it gives opportunity for students to develop a positive character building.
The Grade 8 students facilitated the assembly and are supervised by the school principal. The primary students sit together with their team inside the gym and are all excited in singing their school anthem. I found out that it is their first time to sing it in an assembly and that the students collaborated with their Music teacher in preparing the lyrics of the song. The song emphasizes about their goals as a multicultural community. I like that the school created their own anthem and sing it as a community, most especially during an assembly. I see that a school anthem helps promote unity and love for school. I remember then my high school because we have a school anthem that we often sing it after our national anthem. I usually casually just sing it during our regular assembly but it had a different effect on me when I sing it for the last time during my high school graduation. Afterward, the the students have a relay game and the team who won generously share their points with the rest of the other team.
After the assembly, my assigned class did a Valentine’s Day artwork activity with her class. The class made their own Valentine envelope/mailbox where their classmates could put their Valentine’s gift and letters for them. I even got chocolates from the teacher and I got to play Connect 4 to a group of students at the back table because there was a bit of a time to do so.
WEEK 1: STUDENTS AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
Photo grabbed from school’s website
My afternoon field work is in Grant Road School and I felt excited meeting the students from my assigned Grade 4 class. The teacher gave my field partner and me a chance to introduce ourselves to the class. The teacher likewise gave her class a chance to briefly say something about themselves. The students are all smiles and look excited as they tell something about themselves one at a time. I noted that the class composition is very diverse wherein one student is Syrian, one is Sudanese, one is Thai, two Filipinos, two Chinese, two Pakistanis and the rest are Canadian born. Out of these Canadian-born students, 3 or 4 are Metis. This shows that almost half of the class’ first language is not English and are migrants in Canada. Two students came to the class around the second semester, one from another Regina Public School and the other is a newcomer in Canada. Meanwhile, most of the boys like to play soccer and very few prefers hockey and baseball. Most of the students like to eat pizza and they are hoping that they could have a pizza party as a reward for their warm fuzzies (good behavior chart). The students are also given the chance to ask questions to us. Two students got excited because they are also from the Philippines. These two Filipino kids are even curious and asked if I know or have travelled to the city where they are born, which I did and we talked briefly about the scenic spots that we both like about the place. Another student asked if I have travelled to other countries too and two of the students got excited when they found out that I have been to their countries, Thailand and China. One student even asked about my opinion of Pres. Trump but I smiled and politely said that I would not respond to the question.
After the introduction, the teacher redirects the class to the regular activities. It was Day 2 and they have Reading Aloud, Read with a Buddy and Library. The students appear interested and participative when the teacher reads “Jack and the Beanstalk-Choose Your Own Adventure book”. The students got to vote on what adventure they would like and appear to be engaged in the activity. Most of them are fidgety in their seats but not at all distracting nor disruptive. While the class is working on the Reading activity, the teacher let the two students work on an IPad quietly by themselves. During Read with a Buddy, the teacher let me work with two students to read with at the hallway. The two students did not hesitate to go with me and readily starts reading their task as soon as we sat in the hallway. Library time, the students appear excited to lined up and walks quietly going to the Library. I noticed that most boys are into origami books, specifically in making paper airplanes and paper boats. After recess, I work with one student to go over her corrections in her Spelling duo-tang. The student was smiling when she approached me at the round table but appears shy when we started working on her spelling. The student became relaxed with very minimum encouragement.
The classroom is well-lit by its wide window pane that is overlooking the primary playground. Inside the room, there is a whiteboard and a smart board. Posted on the Whiteboard are the students assigned jobs and class schedule and on top is the Word Wall. Beside the Whiteboard is a shelf for computers and other electronic gadgets. The teacher’s table and her filing cabinet are on the left front side of the classroom. The students’ desks are in rows facing the board and one student has a standing desk at the back of the room. The right side of the classroom is the shelf for the student’s duo-tangs and books. Beside the shelf is a sink. At the back is where you can find the door, the students’ wooden lockers, and mini classroom library. The students share lockers with two other classmates and their names are posted in front of their locker doors. There is also a round table with 4 chairs and a smaller rectangular table with one chair. There is a moveable cabinet beside the round table and the names of the students are divided on its drawer. There are also 2 extra high chairs at the back of the room. The classroom, in general, is organized and is conducive to learning.
WEEK 11: TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION
Last Tuesday, Alec Couros talked about Educational Technology and Digital Literacy as well as the role of a teacher in the classroom. Courus discussed how technology evolved and has been widely utilized around the world for various purposes, specifically in Education. The teacher then has to learn how he or she could utilize different technologies to become more efficient in teaching his or her lessons. e.g. Smartboards, Ipads, and laptops. The teacher also needs to learn how to guide his or her students on digital citizenship. More so, protect the right to privacy of his or her students when using social media.Meanwhile, A student has to be responsible and know appropriate behaviour in the use of various technology, particularly in social media. He or she also has to be guided how to be critical of the information found in social media, wherein not all of it are factual and lack credentials. Couros shared to the class how one student can utilize the power of technology when she blogged about the food in their school cafeteria and eventually redirect it to food fundraising.
Meanwhile, A student has to be responsible and know appropriate behaviour in the use of various technology, particularly in social media. He or she also has to be guided how to be critical of the information found in social media, wherein not all of it are factual and lack credentials. Couros shared to the class how one student can utilize the power of technology when she blogged about the food in their school cafeteria and eventually redirect it to food fundraising.Technology is a source of information that I would consider in my future classroom. I could look into different websites for my classroom resources and use it to get my students be engaged in learning. However, I should learn to be critical on how and when I would use technology in the classroom. I have to consider that there are different learning techniques aside from visual and auditory that most technologies provide.
WEEK 10: GENDER AND SEXUAL DIVERSITY
The lecture on gender and sexual diversity is eye opening to me because it discussed a broad range of terminologies on gender and sexual diversity that I am not aware of, particularly skoliosexual and cisgender. I also learned that there could be a combination of sexuality type. The lecture lets me further consider to find out more about gender and sexual diversity to be adept in understanding my students. More so, it further establishes my belief that a teacher entails not only academics.
I grew up with having a friend who is openly gay at a very young age. The other girls and I played with our Barbie dolls with him, and we usually play with the other kids in our neighbourhood. It was never an issue to his family nor to us, his friends that he is gay. He is nice to me that is all that matters to me. I also had worked with openly gay and lesbian teachers before, and sometimes I hang out with them after work. One of the gay teachers that I know is now a transgender. Like my childhood friend, they were nice to me that I considered them my friend too. I also have seen that they teach their students with great dedication and that is all that matter to me. So, I guess I could say that I am comfortable with the subject. In school, I could help my students become comfortable with themselves by emphasizing that what matter most is that they are a good person regardless of their gender and sexual preference. I could also emphasize it through little things. For example, boys can wear pink and girls can play sports.
WEEK 9: OUR LIFE AS AN INCOMING TEACHER
David Popoff, our guest speaker shared his personal experience of his teaching career and how he is able to go through all those years. Popoff told the class that we need a sense of humour in this profession, gave pointers on how to stay sane in our work and how we pick our poisons. He further reminded us to maintain balance with our social and personal life outside of the school. He likewise gave some pointers to remember at the end of his talk: 1)This will get better; 2)Always work from the heart; 3)They will remember this about you. 4) Be open to surprises; 5) Find a mentor; 6) Realize it may not be you.
At the latter part of his presentation, he showed us a video of teachers writing to themselves on their first day of school and it could be a good idea for our forum this week. We could all write a letter to our future selves who would be on their first day of work as a teacher.
Dear Future Ms. D,
Hello future Ms. D.! I would like to imagine that you wake up very early today because you are excited for your first day in school as a teacher. Hmmm, if not, you still have to be earlier that your students on the first day. So get up from your bed, have a good cup of coffee and welcome the morning with great anticipation. I would guess you have spent your whole summer trying to organize your classroom. Looking at the best possible ways to set it up so that your students would be happy seeing their new classroom. I would tell you that you do not have to worry about anything. I would try my best to study hard and would persevere in doing my homework. Thus, I hopefully would equip you in becoming the teacher that you always wanted to be. Likewise, for you to gain more confidence as you go through one school year to another.
Both of us would agree that you are already used to working in a school that has let you gained the knowledge that you needed for today. However, I hope you will always consider that every academic year gives a different experience and learnings. May you continuously be patient and humble as you conduct your work as a teacher. May you always keep that great enthusiasm in supporting and guiding your students. It is truly rewarding when you kindle the students’ love for learning and see them become more confident and independent people. May you find great co-teachers that you could collaborate with in creating fun stuff with your kids.
I know that you would work hard to meet your obligations as a teacher and I believe that you have the dedication to get things done. However, I would like to remind you that you should always be gentle with yourself. I would like to request that you need to take care of yourself too. I am hoping that you would not stay late at work all the time. Please try to finish what you can do for the day but try to avoid bringing home anything from work as much as possible. You would take care of your students every day in the classroom, and you deserve to take care of yourself the most.
Have a great day at work today and the rest of your teaching career.
Present Ms. D
WEEK 8: SUPPORTING ENGLISH AS AN ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE (EAL) STUDENTS IN SCHOOL
Here in Regina, a student who comes from another country, regardless whether he or she is an immigrant or refugee have to go to Regina Open Door Society. The child would be interviewed/assessed their English communication skills. Regardless of the English skills, the child is usually placed on a grade level based on their age and submitted report card/transcript of records from their previous school. More so, the school has to accept the children regardless of the time of the academic year. I usually see a new student enrolled in February.
My pre-intern teacher informed us that there are instances that the school does not know the age of the child, who is a refugee because the family could not provide a birth certificate nor the child knows his birthday. The grade level of the child is then based on his dental records. More so, the child has lower academic aptitude compare to the grade that he is in because of his limited English communication skills. This is not an isolated case; there are lots of schools and classrooms who have EAL students. These students are in the same class as their age groups but mostly are doing something else because they could not meet the academic expectations for that grade level. This is the situation that a teacher has to consider every day when she or he prepares a lesson plan or coordinate with the EAL teacher and Language Resource Teacher and Educational Assistant.
WEEK 7: PREPARING STUDENTS
As a teacher, we are not only teaching students academics but also character development that would help them become proactive adults. A teacher establishes a set of classroom rules that students need to follow, and with that, the students learn the consequences if they follow it or not. For example, a student who is not finishing his or her seatwork on time may be asked to stay during recess to finish it. Thus, would help instil to the student that he or she needs to value their work time so that they would not also neglect their play time. Another example is the consequence of cheating on a school work wherein a student learns the importance of integrity. More so, the students have high regard to their teacher’s opinion or instruction than their parents or another adult. I remember my teacher friend telling me about the time she is helping her daughter with homework. Her daughter kept on insisting that it is not what her teacher says. My friend even reminded her daughter that she is also a teacher. However, her daughter just looked at her and said: “…but you are not my teacher.”. My friend humbles herself and allows her daughter to follow the teacher’s instruction.
Furthermore, it is not only what the teacher teaches inside the classroom that the students pick up. The students also notice how their teacher respond to given situation. An example is accepting mistakes and corrections. When the student calls the teacher’s attention that there is an error on checking a paper, it may be something trivial to a teacher, but it may be a great deal when the student hears the teacher apologizes and thank the student for that correction. It helps the student learn how to handle their mistakes when others correct them. Lastly, a teacher could only do so much in guiding their students to have good study habits and become a better adult. Likewise, a teacher could only hope that the student would choose to listen to advises and guidance.
WEEK 6: ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL
When a child enters regular schooling, he or she follows norms based on the standard curriculum set by the Ministry of Education. However, each student has different learning styles that affect his or her performance in school. More so, not all students have the capacity to cope with regular schooling, be it due to a learning difficulty, behavioural issues, and/or personal circumstances. A teacher must consider the different needs of the students when preparing his or her lessons, and at the same time in meeting the required standard curriculum. Thus, there is always the possibility that the teacher may not give the attention and assistance that a student needs to cope in school. School staff such as educational assistant, school counselor, EAL teacher, Language Resource Teacher and Child Psychologist could help the teacher and/or a student cope in school. Likewise, a close and consistent follow-up at home are always commendable.
However, there are still cases that a student could still have difficulty adapting to regular schooling despite the school and parents working closely together. It is when alternative schooling methods come in. In some cases, alternative schooling could provide the appropriate environment that a child needs to develop the necessary academic and life skills. An example is a child who seemingly appears having ADHD symptoms could have a high cognitive functioning and a regular schooling could not provide the learning environment that she needs. Likewise, a child who has a marked aptitude for arts such as painting, dancing and singing and the like could further hone their skills if he or she is in an alternative school that caters to their needs. More so, there are students who could do well if they are in a smaller and alternative environment that could closely address their behavioural issues before they could go back to a regular school. Meanwhile, like regular schooling, alternative schooling could not be a good learning environment for everybody. It is always better that the school and parents work closely together to determine what kind of learning environment is suitable for a student that would help the child learn how to become a more positive and productive adult in the future.
WEEK 5: TECHNICAL AND RATIONALE TEACHING
Our guest speaker, Dr. Michael Capello gives me a good insight on how observant our future students could be. Dr. Capello’s activity using the coloured papers as tally sheets reminds me that our students would not only learn academics from us, but they could also be keen observant of our behaviour and mannerisms. An example given are those filler words that we may often use; the way we move about inside the classrooms and even our gestures. Considering this, I must be aware and cautious of how I carry myself inside the class to be sure that I am not a distraction from learning. More so, I should be aware where I usually stand during class discussions because it might send mixed messages to the students (e.g. I am favouring a group, not giving much attention to a student/ group of students)
Meanwhile, among the 5 philosophical orientations, I am more inclined to favour the three: Progressivism, Existentialism, and Social Reconstructionism. I prefer a combination of these three and not strictly adhere to one philosophical orientation. I find these three philosophical orientations empower the students in understanding their own capabilities and enables them to become more adaptive and productive in life, which I also see as the real purpose of education. I am also considering multiple intelligence and learning styles as a guideline to my teaching philosophy because education should not merely be confined in a box.
WEEK 4: POWER, PLACES & PRIVILEGE: CONSTRUCTING SOCIAL AND RACIAL IDENTITIES
This week we have Daniella Zalcman as our guest speaker and she talked about her project on Indigenous communities in different countries. Zalcman gained interest to study about Residential schools survivors here in Canada because of the prevalent number of HIV positive within the Indigenous community. Are there any ideas/reactions about her project that you would like to share with the group? Meanwhile, Zalcman’s talk coincides with our class discussion about how power, places, and privileges occur on constructing social and racial identities. Sources of power could be money, seniority, title, and educational background. The talk of power also gave room to discuss unpacking the knapsack of the white privileges. The class further discussed identifying the non-dominant and dominant people (e.g. sexual orientation; disabled; non-English Speaking) varies on the setting of the society. Thus, how can society and schools be more equitable for all people, especially those who are non-dominant in some way?
On the side note, we have our designated schools for our field study next week. As a Pre-Intern, how do you prepare yourself for it and what are your goals to make it a meaningful experience?
There are many ways to present the two faces of the lives of Indigenous People here in Canada. Daniella Zalcman, our guest speaker presents the good and the bad side of it artistically through her photographs. Zalcman’s interest about Residential school let us realize that we need to reflect on our prejudice notions on the present Indigenous community, and it teaches us that we need to look beyond what we ordinary see every day in the street and not simply judge indigenous people so poorly. It further teaches us that we would have the opportunity to work with Indigenous students inside the classroom and we should be aware of their needs that might not be met in their home.
Meanwhile, as a future teacher, we should not only confine ourselves in uplifting the lives of indigenous students but should create a classroom that promotes equity as a whole. We should learn to redirect the role of power, places and privileges constructively. We should also have to find ways to make non-dominant people feel comfortable and accepted in school.This is timely in preparation for our field class. We should learn to pick up techniques being used in school today that could help us gain more knowledge in promoting equity in school.
WEEK 3: DISABILITY, ABLEISM, AND THE OBJECTIFICATION OF DISABILITY
In the video about Objectification of Disability, I pondered about what Stella Young says about what really is considered an achievement when you removed disability out of the equation. It lets me think further that every person has their own capabilities and limitations. With that in mind, these people who are considered disabled by society are not really an exceptional. I agree with her that we should not have low expectations of disabled people because we might hinder their growth as a person In the meantime, Parents may have the legal capacity to decide for their child but I agree with Jakob that they may not have the best idea all the time. Parents should collaborate closely with the school and specialists to guide the child, be it with a disability or not, in understanding their potentials. The teachers should also be trained and be knowledgeable on how to handle diversity in the classroom. Nonetheless, they still need to collaborate closely with the team to become more effective in handling children, whether they have a disability or not.
WEEK 2: GOVERNANCE IN EDUCATION
I have my apprehension with the idea of reducing the number of school boards in Saskatchewan. To justify my apprehension, I would compare a school board to a classroom. In a class of 25 students to 1 teacher, let us say the class has 2 students with special needs, 3 students fairly meet academic expectations, 3 have behavioural problems, 3 EAL students, 5 performs well, and the rest has an average performance. We could even add a scenario that this class is a Gr. 1/2 split. Aside from the regular class, the teacher has to attend to other students’ issues: bus arrangements; health issues; playground issues; and/or family issues. Because of budget constraint, no teacher available or lacking classrooms, the school decided to merge 2 classrooms. Can a teacher monitor the academic progress and behaviour of 50 students the same way he or she does with 25 students? Would he or she render quality lessons and still maintain good classroom management with that large number of students? My question goes the same with school boards and that they should take a lot of considerations before reducing the number of school boards to upkeep good governance and quality education.