Field Experiences

MacNeill: Fall 2019

My first placement was with a fourth grade classroom at MacNeill Elementary School in Regina, Saskatchewan. Here are a few excerpts from my weekly reflections on the experience:

“This week our co-operative teacher explained how she was informed that she would have to give her students reading comprehension evaluations next week. Her actions showed me how much she cares for her students. She created practice versions of these evaluations, broke the class into two, half of which went to another room with myself and my co-student, and she and we explained the entire booklet step by step, ensuring that each child fully understood what was expected of them. This exemplified for me that she isn’t just interested in pumping out curriculum and letting the students figure things out or not. She walks alongside each student and ensures they understand and are doing their best.”

“When I was in elementary school the only computers were in the library, and when our class had a turn to use them, there were only enough for students to work in groups of two or three. Now, our co-operative teacher can sign out school computers anytime, and each student gets a small laptop right at their desk!”

“It is clear to me that the students connect to what they are learning, and that they see meaning and relevance in the content. This is because the students make connections between different content areas, and to outside information.  For example during one class discussion during a health lesson, one student brought up a passage from a book they’d read together earlier in the year, and another student spoke to the class about a news story she’d seen on television. Often these interjections can be seen as off-topic and discouraged, but their teacher allows conversations to evolve as the students see fit.”

My Final Reflection:

“I had an ideal last day. My co-student and I led a variety of “movement breaks” as the gym had been double booked. It was lots of fun and the students enjoyed being silly within the classroom. After that the teacher told the students that this was our last day, thanked us, and asked the students if they had anything to add. Several of them thanked us for helping them with their work, one girl asked us if we could be their substitute teachers sometime, and another invited us to their Christmas concert. Eight weeks was just enough time to form relationships with the students, so leaving was a sad event. The teacher said we’d be welcome to drop in for a visit anytime.
I am so glad that field placements are a part of the very first term of an education degree. I was already positive that this is the ideal career choice for me, but as we left that last day I thought to myself “Ok! I’m ready for my own classroom!” The experience completely solidified my conviction that this is the path I am meant to take. I’m excited for all of the learning I will have in the coming years, but graduation can’t come soon enough!”