Here I will be posting about all my experiences in classrooms throughout my years.
My first experience in a classroom was sort of nerve-wracking, but in the end, I really started to enjoy it. Here are some observations I have seen during my time at an elementry school in Regina.
My first week I focused on the environment the students were in, how did they learn and what was available to them. I was expecting a light schedule that was not very strict for the children since they are still young (kindergarten) and have short attention spans for the most part. I was shocked when class started, these kids had a schedule down and knew that there were high expectations for them. This classroom had many distractions like toys, markers, sinks, books, etc, but they knew what had to be done and did so. The environment was friendly and fun but controlled. As an outsider, I could tell that the students knew that the teachers were in control as well. That was something I admired and wish to have when I get my own classroom.
These students had a very diverse way of learning. Some ways were through taking, putting their “thinking caps” on, attempting to read words on their own, through technology and problem-solving. The students were effortlessly transitioning through all the different ways to learn, and that was very neat to see. This made me think that I do not have to be a teacher that just uses one technique to teach, but multiple ones. Each way of learning in this classroom seemed to tie into another and it worked out really well.
For me, it was huge to see how much technology and freedom of choice these kindergarten students had. My experience this week was eye-opening. The students have many choices on what they do and how they complete an activity. I see now that education is for sure not just taught by the book. Creativity is huge and comes from the teacher, as well as the students. This is what makes education fun and successful!
Some things I want to remember when I was in this classroom are some of the silly things kids do:
-They absolutely love when their pencil is sharp, and this means at all times.
-If you show them something new to them, they will always remember. I once showed a student how to make a turkey out of their hand outline. They thought that was the coolest thing in the whole world.
– Kindergartners are young, but they can often outsmart you. Somehow these children have extensive knowledge that you have no idea where it came from. Keep an eye on this to make sure inappropriate conversations do not come up.
-These kids are fast, make sure you watch all of them closely so one doesn’t get away on you. I was lucky to have two other teachers and me in this classroom so this was easy to prevent.
The teacher is always prepping. I saw this through my classroom teacher I was placed with. She would always be at her desk or with her books in the classroom putting things together and making sure everything is ready for class time. I really felt like my teacher was very dedicated to her students and making sure that there was always a thought through plan for every lesson or task. She also has what seems to be a flawless system with her teaching assistant. They work so well together. I think that the key here is to really get to know who you will be working beside. Create a system in the classroom that works for both of you and that both people feel comfortable with. I really saw this in the classroom I was placed in. Both the teacher and the assistant worked together perfectly and that was really inspiring and motivational to see. I want my relationship with any T.A. I may have in my class will be as great as theirs.
The students all have different personalities, I learned this pretty quick. Many do not like to listen, have sass, or shy. As a teacher, you have to learn how to break through these barriers. I have learned by interacting with these kids that the best way to do this is to take time and talk to a student one on one. For me in a kindergarten classroom, this meant playing with a child and really getting to know them. I found that this lets them know that you care. It also helps that you tell the students something about yourself, they really like that.
Overall, I really enjoyed each student in the classroom. They gave me such a great experience with such diversity. I am grateful for learning how to deal with children who have different disabilities, attitudes, and thoughts. I can not wait for my next field experience.
Three professional goals I want to set for my next field experience is to learn and interact more with children who have disabilities, become more involved in the learning process of the classroom, and to not be afraid of being in a new learning environment and that I should be taking all the opportunities that are offered to expand my experiences.