Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Last teaching observation

On December 14th, I attended my last observation hours at St. Helen's and was with the new 3rd grade teacher. This teacher was fresh out of college so it was interesting to see someone who was just a few years older than me . I did not feel as if this teacher was very engaging and this was a little troublesome to me because I would of thought that a new teacher would be energetic and excited about her first class. The teacher used definitions straight from the book and asked them in order. I felt as if the kids knew the answers because they remembered the order and not necessarily what the definition was. If I were to change this, I would mix up the definitions to make sure the kids had a true grasp of the material. What  I did like about her lessons is that she would have some of the kids "teach" the lesson. It was fun to see how some of the students explained the math concepts and I feel as if sometimes they related to this better than actually listening to the teacher. If the student was way off track with teaching she would intervene to make sure that the students understood.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Clinical Teaching Experience

I had a great time planning out my first lesson on grading and rubrics. I found that the planning process was a little difficult because although we talked about making sure the lesson relates to the students, it was difficult for this to happen because I found I did not have any idea what my classmates were really into. The only thing that we all had in common was, we all had experiences with rubrics and we knew what it was like to receive a poor and good letter grade.
My favorite part of the lesson was planning out the activity. If I had a chance to re-do this section, I would of made the rubrics better.
I felt that the students enjoyed our lesson and learned something from it. Everyone asked various questions and by the activity, it showed they knew what they were doing.

Friday, November 21, 2014

St. Helen's Blog November 13th

On November 13th, I was in Mrs. Bartholomew's second grade class again. The subject that was covered was math. To start off math class, Mrs. Bartholomew started off with a time math test(something I remembered vividly). The students were very excited to do this and enjoyed the challenge that was presented to them. The students were able to practice their speed with this math drill and almost all of the students were able to complete it, and correctly. The way the teacher had the students grade their assignment is rather than telling the students the answer, she had the students take turns at telling the answers. This helped Mrs. Bartholomew gage the students understanding of the math that they were completing and by the students grading, it helped save her time. 
When the time tests were done, Mrs. Bartholomew incorporated the dry erase boards into her lesson to help with math problems. Mrs. Bartholomew before she started her lesson did something very smart and that was...letting the students free draw!!!! How perfect was this! She allowed the students about five minutes to free draw and this was perfect because the students got the urge to draw on the dry erase boards out of their system and they were able to fully concentrate on their math problems. 
The lesson then moved to learning about adding multiple digits. She had the students look for any numbers that add up to ten then add onto that. I thought this method was confusing and would try and find a different way to help the students 

I had the opportunity to look at the math teacher's handbook. I never had looked into a teachers handbook so I thought it was very interesting. At the beginning of the lesson, the book told the teacher what the students should be understanding before the new lesson was started and also what the students should know by the end of the chapter. I thought this was helpful because it can help the teacher decide whether or not he or she can move on or what they still need to work on. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Course Blog #10

For this final blog post, please summarize your course blog. What do you discover about yourself and your concerns and interests about the field of education?  Are there emergent themes? What do you believe as evidenced across the nine previous posts ?

Overall, I enjoyed the blogging process. I discovered things about teaching I may not have thought too much about before such as how to properly set up a classroom, or to be mindful of other students and their differences. The lesson where we talked about LGBTQ students was eyeopening for me because it is a topic that has not ever been discussed before and I was not aware of it. 
Through my experiences, I learned a lot about what being a teacher entitles. I still have a strong passion for teaching and only hope that passion increases as I take my education classes and learn more about the field. Some concerns I was faced with especially in recent topics, is how a school should be. I still am searching for that answer on what an "ideal" school is. Although I think it may be hard to find simply because the world isn't perfect so why should a school be? I think it is the job of a teacher to make the atmosphere of the school, especially his or her classroom as perfect as it possibly could be. 
A theme that I see when looking back at my course blogs is that teaching puts a huge emphasis on the students. I of course already knew this but it became very prevalent that not anyone can be a teacher. To be a teacher you are taking the lives of kids and shaping them for the world essentially, to become the best person they can possibly be. Being a teacher is not a job that should be taken lightly. Not everyone is cut out for the position and it should not be a job that is taken just because someone does not know what else to do with their life. To be a teacher is an honor, the impact that is made on the students is tremendous and should impact the students for a lifetime. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

St. Helen's November 6th

Today I was back at St. Helen's and with the kindergarten class again. Today the class was a little more talkative and it was obvious that the teacher was frustrated with them. The teacher said that it was because of the full moon that the students were being disruptive and she said that this happens quite often and that the teachers swear by this.
There were a couple times the teacher had me lead the class or help them with an assignment. The students listened to my direction when I corrected them and they adjusted their talkative behavior after I had told them. In cases where it was only a few students talking, I went up to them and whispered they needed to be more quiet instead of correcting them in front of everyone.

I was introduced to a project the teacher was working on that I liked very much. The teacher was keeping track of the students ability to write their name and color in a picture. On the first day of school she had the students do this and then after every quarter. She said she is doing this because at parent-teacher conferences she always struggled showing parents progress. She believed that this was a great way to show it and I agreed with her.
I was able to see myself how much students improved and I was shocked. Some names were not legible the first day of school and it was awesome to see the progress the students had made.
The students are able to see their progress which I thought was important because it shows them that they are improving as a student and how important it is for their education to pay attention in class and to practice what the teacher was giving them to do.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Agnon School

Agnon was by far my favorite school we have attended thus far. I loved the feel of Agnon initially because it reminded me a lot of my school that I grew up in.
The main thing I noticed about Agnon was the students and how they behaved. The students had a type of respect and excitement to learn that I had not seen in the other schools we have attended. 
I loved the first grade teacher I was with at Agnon and would like to model some of her teaching strategies in the future. 
One of the first things I picked up on was how she interacted with her students. She was eager to teach her students and how she interacted with the students made them feel comfortable. When she spoke to her students she spoke in almost a whisper. Initially, I did not like it but the students reacted to this in an amazing manor and I preferred it over the normal voice teachers usually speak in the classroom. 
A lesson that we got to watch was in reading. I was shocked at the different levels of reading ability the students had. Two students in particular were at a 3rd/4th grade reading level. Mindy, the teacher, accommodated both of these boys by giving them work they could do in the hallway that was at their level so they were not bored in class. Other kids, were at the other end of the spectrum and could barely read or were reading at a very basic level. Mindy gave the students telephones that helped them with reading because they were able to hear themselves talk.  I like how Agnon was able to incorporate everyones learning abilities.
Agnon left an impression on me that I will never forget. I love the respect the teachers showed their students and the respect the students showed the teachers. Agnon is similar to a school I would want to work at in the future. The atmosphere and how the students behaved at Agnon make it seem like a teacher would have a hard time becoming "burn out". 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Blog Post #9

Based on our readings, and viewing of the Summerhill School, it has come to my attention that I really needed to reflect on what a good school is.
When looking strictly at the video of Summerhill, I was not sure if that was an environment that I would want my children to go to. I did not like hearing that lessons were optional yet, the fact that kids will attend school because it is natural to want to learn made a lot of sense to me. I would like to look into Summerhill, and other similar schools because I think this is a possible environment to be in but it would take adjusting because it is not remotely close to what I grew up in.
To me, I believe a good school needs to have a good balance. This balance consists of teacher relationships, classroom atmosphere, and discipline. Without balance, I think a school is doomed because you should not be extremely lenient or extremely harsh; this will turn students away and there will be no control.
A school needs to be able to cater to everyone and their needs. Whether it be learning abilities or special needs, the school and staff should know how to work well in these situations so students are engaged in their learning.
I think it is important for students to feel a connection with their teachers as well. Teachers need to be able to relate to their students and not seem as if they are better or more superior than them. Although this is important, there needs to be a balance so that teachers are not taken advantage of.

I think building an appropriate school is important to both the teacher and the students. The students need to be in an environment where they can properly learn and they are excited for learning. Also, teachers need to be in an environment where they feel they will be most successful in. Being in an environment that doesn't suit the teacher could be stressful for her as well as hinder her ability to teach as good as she is able to.