Learning to Relate
The experience so far at the University of Regina has been great. I have met many future teachers that have helped increase my knowledge and understanding of different ways to teach. We have had many opportunities to have hands on presentations in our classes, which has allowed me to observe a variety of different teaching strategies, and helped put our plans into action.
My cooperating teacher for my pre-internship placement has been helpful and given thoughtful feedback. He has shared a lot of strategies that work for him and helped provide me with strategies that I haven’t used before in a classroom setting. He has been patient and understand while helping us achieve our goals.
The students in the classroom have been very receptive to having us in the classroom and seem to be engaged while we are there. They have been very welcoming and share their space, projects and work with us each week. They have wanted to try new strategies to learn but more importantly they have taught me what is most effective for them. It has been enjoyable to teach them and I look forward to rejoining them in March.
Learning to Reflect, Review & Evaluate
My cooperating teacher has been very informative and detailed in providing me with adequate feedback each week. It is detailed down to the minute of things that I’m doing well and things that I could be implementing in certain situations. This feedback has helped me in the reflective piece of my lessons and has allowed me to rethink strategies and how I can adapt for future lessons.
I have learned to take feedback from lessons and implement that going forward. I believe that it is an important part of teaching and learning that we take adequate time to reflect on what we have done. This reflection allows us to determine what went well and what didn’t go well. Once we have discovered this we can take that information and use it going forward to make a better lesson plan and execute it more efficiently.
For my three week block in March I want to be able to come out of my comfort zone and try some new types of teaching strategies (outdoor learning, experimental, incorporate more technology, games and activities). My experience with teaching and coaching is more demonstration and lecture; therefore, it is one thing that I fall back onto when I’m planning a lesson.
Learning to Teach
I was able to deepen my understanding of instructional strategies in two ways: observing and watching my colleagues and my cooperating teacher, and by learning about the various strategies in classes that we were taking this semester. I was able to implement a few of these strategies in my classroom (incorporating technology into the classroom: videos and computers for research). I was able to see how it helped engage students that typically weren’t engaged. Having a variety of strategies is important because everyone learns differently and we, as educators, need to ensure that we are meeting the needs of all students.
Some roles and responsibilities of a teacher that I have learned so far are: be prepared, have good classroom management, and it is important to build relationships. Preparation is important because lessons might need to be adapted or changed based on what is happening in the class. Having a well prepared lesson with adaptations will help with any wrenches that are thrown into the mix. Classroom management is one of the keys to successful teaching in the classroom. Having students listening, not disturbing others and being engaged in the lesson is done through good classroom management. Lastly, but most importantly, it is crucial to build relationships in the classroom. Having a connection with students will help build a foundation of trust which will help engage them in the classroom.
Learning to Plan
As stated earlier it is an important part of teaching to be prepared and developing lesson plans helps with this. Each class this semester has helped with the development of lesson plan creation. These plans have helped by showing the importance of linking the curriculum to each plan and how subjects can be cross-curricular. As the semester goes on and we are doing more plans, the familiarity and development gets easier. One important thing about planning is the feedback. Adequate feedback allows for proper adjustment of lesson plans (what went well and what needs to be adapted). These adaptations will help increase the efficiency of the lesson and will help engage the students at a higher-level.
As pre-intern students we can learn a lot from our fellow students and cooperating teacher. Providing and accepting feedback in the planning portion will help guide us to becoming stronger teachers. One thing I enjoyed about the planning process was the ability to bounce ideas and strategies off my colleagues. This has helped me learn additional strategies and how to execute them effectively. I believe that this process will help me become a stronger teacher because it increases my tool-box of strategies that I can use in the classroom with students.