My Final Reflection
Looking back at the past 8 weeks I spent with the grade one and two classroom in Connaught Community School, I can only describe the experience as action-packed and exciting. I cannot believe it has already been 8 weeks with the grade ones and twos. It seems like it all went so fast. I feel like I have learned so much from not only my coop teacher, but from the students as well. This experience has helped me learn more about myself and who I want to be as an educator. I have learned lots about topics from welcoming diversity, to using technology in the classroom, to understanding the needs of the students and how to accommodate them. I know as I continue to experience more days in the field and more Education classes, my knowledge of these topics will only grow.
I am enrolled in the secondary education program, meaning I want to be teaching high school students, so when I saw I was in a grade 1 and 2 classroom, I was a little nervous. I am actually very happy that I got to experience being in a younger grade. I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I feel like experiencing a younger grade gives me a greater understanding of what needs to be put into teaching and building the foundations of a child’s learning. In each week I saw improvement in reading, writing and math in almost every student. The first week we were there, some of them could not understand even and odd without having explained each time. Now, they can all figure out even and odd very quickly. I love seeing the students improve. Every week we had focus questions that allowed us to gain deeper understanding of teaching. The focus question that really stuck with me was about diversity. We had two weeks to focus on the different forms of diversity in our classroom, both visible and invisible. I looked at how teachers and the school are honoring diversity. The lectures on diversity and inclusion of all students in the classroom really helped me understand how important it is to embrace diversity in the classroom. In the one and two classroom, diversity was everywhere. Our coop teacher really embraced it, allowing the students to share about their lives and even planning to bring in parents to share about their cultures. By allowing students to share their culture, I feel like it helps every student embrace their differences and accept each other for who they are. Diversity is connected in every part of the classroom. Its not just the students who are diverse, but the resources as well. We need to make sure our resources, like books and assignments, are embracing diversity as well. It is so important to have different people from all walks of life represented in our teaching. This will allow students to relate to the course material and feel welcomed in the classroom.
Overall, my experience in the field has shown me the importance of each of the topics we discussed in our lectures in ECS 100. As a future educator, we are going to be shaping the society of the future. We have to understand that society will reflect what happens in schools. So, as a future educator, I need to understand what a good and accepting society looks like, and reflect that in my teaching. I know there is so much more to learn about teaching, and I know there will always be more to learn. Teachers are constantly learning, even when teaching their students. My goals as of right now are to be more adventurous and try new techniques and fun lessons with the kids. My other goal would be to learn. I think there is always more to be learned and I know I need to always be open to new ideas that might make the classroom a better place for all students. I think what I learned through my experiences in the field and the ECS lectures and seminars can be summed up by saying that every student is different and it is important to embrace those differences because they allow us to learn from one and other.
Quotes, photos, and special stories from the field
“Some students have special needs and we were fortunate enough to have an aid come in to help a few students who have attention difficulties.” – this quote is about getting to know my learners and how to teach them. Being able to watch not just a teacher but a teacher aid as well is really helpful in understanding classroom structures and supports.
“The school I am in is a French and English school. This means there are fully French classrooms and English classrooms… Every morning, their morning announcements are spoken in both English and French. It is interesting to hear how well the students know French already and how they can understand their teachers in the French classrooms.” – getting to know the school I was in was important in understand how the school is run and understanding who my learners are.
“I find that teachers rely on other teachers and government or open resources to grow their own knowledge.” – this week’s focus was on how teachers acquire their knowledge. A huge part about being a teacher is sharing resources and helping out your fellow teachers.
“With grade ones and twos, it is dangerous to do actual carving, just in case they get a hold of the knives, so we cut the tops off the pumpkins and let them dig all the seeds and guts out.” – This was Halloween and It was so much fun to dig out seeds and design a pumpkin with the students!
“It was really great to see that the school I am in has a GSA club that meets weekly. It is a great support for students who are apart of the LGBTQ+ community and helps grow awareness and acceptance by other students.” – GSA clubs are great ways to promote a welcoming environment for all students and show that you support them.
“In our classroom, we do the daily 5. The students just started this and are doing 3 of the 5 stations; reading, writing and the teacher station.” – reading and writing are major parts of the foundation of learning. By doing the daily 5, these fundamental skills will only get stronger.
“Today we got to take the students to Agribition! It was a really good experience for us pre-service teachers to see how to handle groups of kids in a busy area.” – taking the students on a little field trip was an interesting experience that really challenged us to not only keep control of a small group, but to make sure the kids were learning things as well.