First Day In The Classroom
Posted On 11/15/2018
I thoroughly enjoyed my field placement this week. I had the wonderful opportunity to be involved in a grade 1/2 split classroom. Upon my arrival, all the kids were extremely excited to meet me. Many of them rushed over and observed everything about me and asked me many questions (What is your name? Will you be here every day? Are you a new teacher?). I had one boy take a particular interest in my watch and another little girl who commented on my hair. One boy even commented on how straight my teeth were…and unfortunately was so curious he had to touch my teeth with his fingers! It was incredible how I was able to learn so much about each of the students during just a half day of school. From lunch, to math class, to gym class, to reading and writing I began to learn about each of the students’ behaviors, strengths, weaknesses, and interests.
The classroom is laid out in 3 pods with 4-6 students in each pod facing each other. They do not have desks that you can put things in rather they are tables. They keep their things for school work in their lockers at the back of the class and there is a carpeted area for listening to stories and learning about subjects in the far-right corner. The classrooms walls are full of sight words, colors, the months of the year, vibrant pictures, and baskets of books. It is a very happy and stimulating place. After breaks such as recess the kids enter the classroom and are instructed to place their heads on their desks before the teacher calls them to the carpet. This is a way to help the kids who struggle with paying attention to calm down before learning. The teacher puts on soothing music to help with this relaxation method.
The classroom I have been placed in has many students have difficulty learning and in some cases, this is resulting in the grade 1 students to outperform the grade 2 students. There are a few boys and girls who have difficulty writing, some who have difficulty paying attention/ sitting still, and one boy who is on the spectrum. I could not help but admire wat a great job the teacher does having to work around so many needs with the help of only one EA. I learned from the teacher and the EA in my classroom that it is important to be firm with the students with behavioral issues. It is important because if you are not firm they will never learn or be able to focus on learning. This may take a lot of constant reinforcement to remind them to pay attention and it is difficult to do this each and every day but this is a responsibility as a teacher, it is the responsibility to help students learn.
The school also has rocking chairs for the students who have difficulty not moving during lessons. This is a great tool. I saw the math teacher instruct a boy who was not able to concentrate on the lesson to get up and sit in the rocking chair and listen better. The boy got up and began to keep busy by rocking the chair. As he rocked in the chair he also began to contribute answers to the group discussion and was able to engage in the lesson more. This is an idea that I would like to remember throughout my teaching journey.