I can’t believe how fast the field experience flew by! It seems like it just began and now I’m writing my final reflection. Throughout the field experience I feel like the weekly questions guided me through invitation & hospitality as well as diversity & decolonizing the classroom. The first three weeks I was really focused on getting to know the staff and students at the school and observing how the school invites students to learn. One thing that stood out to me was that every morning teachers greet their class at the door and walk to the classroom with them. I found this was a way to dismantle the power imbalance between teachers and the students. Instead of the teacher being in the classroom already, they greet the students and invite them into their classroom by walking with them. This stood out to me because I was raised to meet your guests at the door and invite them in and also to show your guests to the door on their way out. During the first three weeks I also got to witness how the staff form a little community of their own and have days where they sit down and share resources and help each other with problems. I thought this was really important because having someone give their input and contribute ideas will help to eliminate biases that you might unintentionally have in your lesson.

The last four weeks went by the fastest. By this point I was comfortable in the classroom and the students were getting used to us coming once a week. During this time I definitely focused most on inclusive education as well as decolonizing the classroom. Coming from a small town with one K-12 school, my field placement was my first time being in a school that is so diverse. Learning about how the teacher and school worked to honour diversity was really important to me. A few of the things I noticed were: sharing heritage/cultural background through star student, non-gendered bathrooms, educational assistants in classrooms, GSA club, and both French and English on signs and for announcements. The teacher honours different learning styles by including visual, audio, and hands on activities. For example in ELA, the teacher introduced jolly-phonics, which gives each letter an action to help kids remember the letter and the sound it makes. Incorporating technology offers teachers many resources and options for inclusive education. Having items like smart boards, laptops, and iPads in the classroom can enhance the student learning. I know that my cooperating teacher also used things like Mathletics and ClassDojo. I really liked the idea of ClassDojo because it allows the teacher to connect with parents and keep them updated on what their kids are learning. I believe that it is really important to have a school to home relationship in order to deconstruct the power imbalance and keep everyone on the same page. Everything that I learned in seminar and lecture, I got to see in action at a real school. I have had a blast during my field experience and am grateful to have the opportunity to get into a school in my first semester! I can honestly say I am going to miss the school I am at and also my wonderful seminar group.

Looking into the future I want to take what I’ve learned about invitation & hospitality and diversity and expand on it. I’ve already attended one PD day on Gender and Diversity and learned so much! I plan on going to any PD day that I can because, as said in lecture, the more you learn, the more you realize you didn’t know! I am also going to look more into the inclusive education certificate because I feel like it will be very beneficial.