Field Experiences: I have really enjoyed my time with field placements. I was assigned to go to Imperial Community School to observe and assist with a Grade 1 and 2 class. Having missed the first session due to age restrictions I was worried there would be a judgement but it was the opposite. The staff and teachers are extremely nice and kind, a very close sense of community which I believe is good for students. On that note the Students, they are a blast to work with. Having the chance to help with different subjects like reading, math, and art. I must say the 8 placements went by very quick and I am sad to say good bye. The 4 hour periods between 8:30 and 12:30 added up over time and I really built a relationship with all the students, staff and, school community. My teacher that was in charge of the class, was kind and provided guidance and observations when I found myself lost or not sure how to handle the students. Discussing the weekly core questions I got to know her well and used her insight to help answer the questions on the stories from the field blog. The staff at Imperial were close. The Principle would always come on the intercom and welcome everyone with a good morning and then come and give high fives and read with students in all the classrooms. The other staff members would find time to come out of their offices and wave to kids while they were on their way up to the library or down the main hall to the gym. The school community had fundraisers and ways to get parents involved. By doing this, Imperial could get new addition into the classroom to help the betterment of the student, something I will always support. For myself the students really made this time so enjoyable, at first the students didn’t know me and were not the most comfortable answering question I asked or my teacher wanted me to ask. Following the second week going into the third students started wanting me to help them with math, for example work sheets, counting by three, or going out to play tag on the play structure. Now with the last week on our belts I feel like they are my friends, that they trust in what I’m teaching and that I had a impact on them. In fact one of the students who spend time with working on home reading in the morning said something very meaningful to me, that I was his best friend. Seeing how nice these little learners, are I often wonder the positive impact that they will have on the world.
For our time in the field not only did we go to different schools and interact with different teachers and students, but we were given a focus in the form of core questions that wanted us to explore our schools in a layer of detail to better understand the purpose of knowledge, schooling, and society. With a total of eight weeks and that final one being a reflection I will show each question and respond with a summary of what I said in my stories from the field blog while keeping it in unique words and style. For the first week the focus question was who are our learners with a focus on students and learning environments. My partner and I are in a classroom with 24 students however, we have gotten two more since the first placement and being honest, it is a busy class with lots of curious young learners making new friends and talking. Overall, sharing the same passion for learning was a true sight to see as we have students from all over the city of Regina and many students that are different races and different cultures serving together in one environment. The learning environment to them looks like classroom with arts and toys made the students, signs of class interaction such as a reader corner. Seeing the class empty in sense made me both happy and sad because I felt reminded as a kid that I was once happy to run outside no matter how cold it was. And considering that is the sad part the happy part would be that I get to see this same feeling in the students.
The second week was much more comfortable for everyone in the class as the students recognized my face and started to know my name. Unfortunately we had a student who was suspended during the time between our placements. I still went out and played tag and hide and seek all while knowing our students were having a blast. The core questions were based off school and community? Who are the people in our school? Link between school and community? Imperial is home to a wide variety of people between the staff, helpers, parents and of course students. The families are from many different races and cultures with their own beliefs, Imperial Community School has a focus on hospitality and welcomes them with open arms. Having a fantastic staff supporting focus on spending time in the different classrooms interacting with teachers and students. The maintance staff also know the students and play games and make jokes with them. The links between school and community really allow for a nicer learning experience towards students, with support and happiness always ready to be used, students should feel like they want to go to school.
Week three had a focus on teachers and knowledge and with this I got to know my teacher well. With knowledge and students welfare when learning as a number one priority different aspects of teaching were shown to me. The core question being how does your teacher honour knowledge ? How is it promoted and what are some tools that are relied on? Knowledge is honoured by asking questions and working together to learn from others. Having different stations such as journals and math be group based, students can make friends while learning daily lessons. Being promoted through posters and interactive world examples, such as having students coming to pick out the day of the week and how cold it is outside. The main tool used for students is SEA-SAW, an online messenger that allows parents to see what students are doing during the day in the classroom and keep up with homework.
I would like to combine week four and five and give a summary together. With a focus on diversity and question leading with week such as what are different forms of diversity in the classroom and the school is honouring diversity. Having many different races and encouraging all of them to join in and ask questions with daily lessons. Our class is a total of more than 20 students, with 24 total. Having 11 girls and 13 boys no matter what gender everyone works together and reads to each other. The school welcomes everyone by stating this is a safe space through posters and art work.
The sixth week was an examination of the curriculum and instruction the questions assigned were what is being taught? and how are students learning? A series of classes spread out across the day cover a wide variety of interests. My placement was in the morning and I worked with students on English, by learning to spell out words and trace them. Math we counted by threes and four using blocks and work sheets. Journals allowed students to draw festive works such building snowmen. Overall the group I work with is grade one and two so I think overtime they will understand. Week seven is technology based and I discussed that in my professional learning part of this portfolio.
Now comes my final reflection, this semester went by quick and not just at the University of Regina but at Imperial Community School. These eight weeks taught me in a meaningful way the connections of knowledge, schooling, and society that are fundamental to my ECS journey. Coming into education I was nervous and afraid that I may ask the wrong questions or not be able to help students in a way that suits them best. One the very first day of classes I remember what the Dean said that you don’t have to be perfect but you must try your best. Keeping that in mind I will always try my best as students have that right. The knowledge aspect was shown to me through the stories we heard in lectures and then discussed in seminars. The journey to reconciliation brought forth a knowledge to wrongs of the past and what we must do to correct them. My knowledge was also widen by the different factors of education I didn’t even really realized existed such as inclusive education and the need for more diversity support. Society is something that one takes time to understand and it will not only my ECS journey to figured out what I need to fully understand it but rather my whole life. Society can portrayed by each person in a different manner, being an educator we must try our best to understand many different examples, especially with students. Lastly I would to reflect on schooling, the way we understand education with both the rise of technology and a diverse population will change. Embracing inclusive education and reconciliation are part of mission towards being the best educator I can be.