Professional Field Experiences

Having just finished my first field placement I have plenty to look back on. I have attached quotes based on experiences I will always remember and thoughts I had on core questions.

“Before my first field placement I was very excited and but I also had some nerves.”

“I felt a lot more comfortable during my second field placement. I wasn’t nervous about my second day at all.”

“In regards to this weeks core question I had some good conversations with my placement teacher about the questions such as what are the key supports that teachers rely on and how to teachers continue to build their own professional knowledge. My teacher was explaining how she had an Elder coming to her classroom the next day. She was telling me how when she first started teaching she wasn’t comfortable teaching about the First Nation culture but has since become more comfortable. I think this is a good example as to the key supports teachers rely on because when you have the opportunity to bring an expert into your classroom and allow yourself to learn from this person.”

“This week was one of the most enjoyable I’ve had. I found this week I was much more involved and I wasn’t just standing around too much.”

“I thing that in looking at a classroom our learners are both the students and the teachers. Students go to school primarily to learn. There is always something that a teacher can teach a student. In this classroom everyone is the learner. I’m learning from the teacher, the teacher is learning from the students and the students are learning from the teacher. Being in this classroom made me remember elementary school. It made me feel really excited about having my own classroom and becoming a teacher.”

“I felt a lot more comfortable during my second field placement. I wasn’t nervous about my second day at all.”

“The school I’m at is École W.S. Hawrylak. When I first looked at the schools website I saw that it is a French school I was worried. I don’t know how to speak French and I was worried that all the students and teachers would be speaking French and I wouldn’t know what was going on. I was very relieved when I learned that the school just held the French immersion program and also had English classes. The school is located in a very affluent area. One of the major links I see between the community and the school is the use of technology. I was very surprised by how much electronics were encouraged in the classroom. My teacher explained that since most of the students have their own iPads or laptops that they are encouraged to bring them to school.”

“In regards to this weeks core question I had some good conversations with my placement teacher about the questions such as what are the key supports that teachers rely on and how to teachers continue to build their own professional knowledge. My teacher was explaining how she had an Elder coming to her classroom the next day. She was telling me how when she first started teaching she wasn’t comfortable teaching about the First Nation culture but has since become more comfortable. I think this is a good example as to the key supports teachers rely on because when you have the opportunity to bring an expert into your classroom and allow yourself to learn from this person. The way I see teachers promoting knowledge in the classroom is providing sections of books based on units they are doing and by providing access to other sources.”

“There was a girl that I was trying to help but I could tell she was getting frustrated with me trying to help her and she wanted nothing to do with me. My placement teacher explained to me after that this student also had a difficult time warming up to her. It was hard for me when I wanted to help the student so she didn’t do her assignment wrong but at the same time I didn’t feel it was my place to try to push her. ”

“Within the classroom there are multiple kinds of diversity. There are students from different family backgrounds and who have certain learning abilities. Similar to Alana I am not able to tell all diversity based on appearance. Some forms of diversity that are not visible can be learning disabilities, some physical disabilities, cultural background, etc,. Some ways I see teachers honouring inclusive practices are by learning about different cultures. My teacher was telling me about the social studies curriculum. The grade 4’s are continuing to learn about the First Nations whereas the grade 3’s are starting to learn about continents and about some different cultures of the world. She told me she wanted to do a large map on the bulletin board for the students to see. She also has book stands for books specifically on different cultures and people of the world.”

“In regards to this weeks core questions I believe that they are similar to last weeks questions. Last week I said there wasn’t any students in the EAL program but this week I learned that there is one student who was in the program last year. By his english this year you would never know that he was in this program. I was talking to my placement teacher about him and she told me that he is constantly talking and asking questions which is something she encourages because that is how he is learning. What I’m seeing in each classroom I’ve been in is there is diversity in the classroom but what I’m seeing is all the students are treated the same and are accepted for who they are. I was talking to my placement teacher about how her principal is trying to encourage her to teach at a community school because he believes that all students deserve the opportunity to have a teacher that pushes them and believes in them.”

“This week was one of the most enjoyable I’ve had. I found this week I was much more involved and I wasn’t just standing around too much.”

“It was fun to see how the younger kids interacted with the older kids. It was fun to see how much the younger kids looked up to the older kids.”

“They are doing a unit on advertising. I found it really cool to see how the students processed the information given on each add and what stands out to them.”

“The class was just a work period so I was able to go around and help the students with any questions they had. The students seemed to be more comfortable talking with me and asking me questions.”

“After recess was phys. ed. I got to go to the gym with them and watch them run around and do circuits.”

“In regards to this weeks core question technology is used all the time in the classroom I’m in. It’s being used to learn new subjects, to create projects, connect with parents, to practice concepts, etc,. From what I’ve seen through my travels it appears that each classroom has two to three iPads and two to three laptops per classroom. As well there is at least two carts with laptops. As I’ve mentioned a few times the school I’m at is very affluent so most students either have an iPad or laptop or phone and they are often encouraged to bring it to use. Like I’ve already stated a few times I’ve been surprised by how much technology is used at this school. I had a conversation with my placement teacher about technology and she was telling me at first she tried to stay away from it but now she uses it more and puts apps on the iPad such as math game apps.”

“My last field placement was again like any other. The day started with math. The students were participating in math centres focused on multiplication. There were two centres for games, one on the computer and the other was math board games, one centre where they were creating arrays by cutting out grid paper, gluing it onto another paper and then solving the array and the last centre was just a worksheet were they had to either solve for the product or if given the product figure of what two numbers multiply to the product. The students were all very excited with these stations. After recess was language arts. They are starting a new unit on fairy tales. Today’s class they were reading a “Jack and the Beanstalk”. They read a traditional version and then a fractured version and then they did a venn diagram to determine the similarities and differences of the two stories. They surprised me with how good they were at analyzing the two stores and finding the similarities and differences. All in all I really enjoyed my field placement. I was placed in a class with an awesome teacher and a fantastic group of students and it made me very excited about the future. I am disappointed to be done going into the class each week. One student even told me I could come back and visit anytime. All the core questions seemed to relate to each other and had a similar theme of inclusion. Connections I made from our weekly topics, field experiences and assignments we focused on inclusion. The first field placement is just the start of my journey to becoming a teacher. After finishing this field placement it makes me really excited about becoming a teacher and having my own classroom. Obviously there is still a lot to learn. There was no actual teaching or lesson planning so that’s something I still need to learn. Questions I still have are how to deal with “controversial” subjects. During my field placement I didn’t see and of the problems and everyone seemed to be welcomed and accepted. 3 professional goals I have are to finish my degree, get a permanent job and to help students develop a passion for going to school.”

Some of the ideas I got from my first field placement was to create a class blog/website. In my placement classroom the teacher has a website and blog where she posts assignments, notes and pictures of the students in class so the parents can see what is going on in class. I like the idea of students and parents being able to get notes or assignments that they might’ve missed and parents will be able to see what is going on in the classroom. I liked the teachers idea of having an early finishers bin with extra work to do. As well I like the idea of having educational games and centres. Also I loved the idea of having borders, posters and plants in the classroom to give it a more welcoming and positive feel. I think it would would something that you could make to be age appropriate for high school students. Other ideas I liked wouldn’t really apply to high school students or classroom.

Below are some pictures I took of my first field placement classroom. I really liked how the teacher would have a book stand dedicated to each unit. I also really liked the reading corner and how it was filled with books and games to allow the students to have a safe and positive place within the classroom.

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