Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Reflection of the Clinical
The opportunity to be able to teach a class was a learning experience.  The amount of time and preparation my group put into our presentation and making up activities that we thought would be entertaining for the class goes to show how much time and effort teachers need to exert every day for the students to get the most out of their experience in class.  The members of my group, Meghan, Tainne, and Mike were all great to work with.  We got along and were able to work efficiently and in a timely manner.  We met every night for hours to discuss our presentation and work on the different aspects of the chapter we focused on.  The night before our clinical, we rehearsed exactly what we were going to say and do the next day in the room that we were presenting in.  I believe this helped immensely while presenting the next day because it was already familiar.  Looking back on our presentation, I believe that my group worked well together and complimented each other.  Each one of us has different skills that we were able to contribute while doing our presentation and because of this I believe that our lesson was effective and I hope everyone took something out of it.  By doing activities, I believe that we kept the class involved and enabled them to participate which is important when teaching.  The most memorable lessons for me in grade school and high school involved activities and participation, therefore we wanted to include these things in our lesson to make the most out of what we were conveying to the students.  While I was in front of the class, I felt comfortable and I thought my group conveyed the messages from the chapter that we were trying to.  Overall, I believe the clinical went well and was happy with the end result.  I loved working with the people that I did and found the experience to be a positive one.  
Field Blog- Gesu School
While observing Mrs. Schetter, a third grade teacher at Gesu School, I learned many teaching and life lessons.  Mrs. Schetter never yelled which is something I respect and admire. You have to have control over your classroom while teaching and if you are able to do that without raising your voice, I find that honorable.  Mrs. Schetter was kind and welcoming and because of this I felt comfortable in her classroom and enjoyed her company. She taught many great lessons that I was able to witness and interact with.  I checked over the student's math homework, proofread their letters about what they were thankful for before thanksgiving and was even able to participate in their Colonial Day.  During Colonial Day, all of the students dressed up in costumes, watched Little House on the prarie, and ate a lunch consisting of cornbread and soup.  Going to visit feels so natural and homey now and I feel more involved and at ease every time I go. The first time I ever visited, I missed my alarm, didn't get to drink my morning coffee and somehow managed to get lost on my way there.  Despite all of this, I made it there on time and felt welcomed and at home. I was anxious to meet Mrs. Schetter and her class but when I walked into her classroom for the first time I knew I was going to love it.  The class immediately greeted me and asked me many questions about college and my personal life.  I could tell right away who was the class clown and who were the quieter students.  Being able to get to know the students on a more personal level was a good experience for me. I built relationships with the kids that I will never forget.  Their smiles and hugs left a bug impact on me and because of this, I know that teaching is what I want to do for the rest of my life.  I am so thankful that I got to experience teaching first hand and found my time at Gesu incredibly worth while.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Field Blog-Agnon School
I thought that visit to Agnon Elementary school was extremely interesting.  I have never visited a Community day school therefore it was very different and exciting in my eyes.  Everyone there was extremely friendly and kind and the children in the classroom were very well behaved and under control.  I was in a first grade classroom and observed the children while they did math problems and played games relating to math.  I thought it was interesting that the students were on a first name basis with the teachers and the head of the school.  Personally, I would not like if my students called me "Caroline" because I find it a bit too casual although I know it is part of their culture and respect it.  I felt that I got a lot out of my visit not only because it was something new that I have never experienced before, but also because I felt like the teacher made an effort to include me in the lesson and explain everything that she was teaching.  She was a young teacher that had attended the school herself which I found interesting.  I could tell that all of the students felt comfortable in their learning environment which I personally think is the key to success.  If the students are comfortable, they will be able to learn better and focus on the lesson more.  While observing, I realized that the students were very independent and responsible for such a young age.  They played the game well with each other.  No one fought and they cleaned up everything after they were done.  I have never seen such young children with such discipline which I thought was interesting.  In conclusion, I really liked how comfortable the students were and found everyone there very compassionate and welcoming but did not personally like the fact that everyone was on a first name basis.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Blog Post 9
In my opinion, a good school is where students are comfortable.  The most important aspect of a classroom is the student's ability to learn in it comfortably.  Therefore, I personally believe that small class sizes are beneficial to the teachers as well as the students.  Students that are conformable in their environment are able to learn more successfully and feel like they have control over what they are doing.  I believe that students should be able to choose what classes they are taking because in high school I had the exact same schedule every day filled with mostly classes that I was not interested in, making it hard to get through the day.  Another important aspect of a good school is their teachers.  Teachers should exhibit kindness and compassion for their job.  The nicer and more respectable the teacher is, the more the class is willing to let their guards down and truly learn.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A teacher's relationship with their students is in my opinion, is the key to a successful education.  While building bridges with your students you should consider the interest of the students, students prior knowledge of the subject, and the learning style of students.  While doing this, to keep the interest of the students a teacher should realize the age of their students and what they are able to tolerate.  Long power points will most likely lose the attention of many young students.  Involvement is the needed to keep the students active.  For your own betterment, I think that teachers should discuss lesson plans and class issues they are facing with collegues.  You can learn something from everyone because they have experiences and have lived through things that you never have.  If you have a good relationship with your students, their respect for you will rise and you will be able to understand them better. Teachers should be aware of their tone of voice, their dress and their attitude while teaching because if they are not enthusiastic, their students will not be. Bridges are the most important part of any student-teacher relationship.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Exploring the Field

The first class I experienced at Beechwood Middle School was Mr. Smith's language arts class.  The class itself was racially diverse and had many different types of students.  Mr. Smith was very enthusiastic about his job and the class listened and respected him.  The classroom had a good setup with a lot of posters and an organized board.  One thing I noticed was that Smith put all of the important upcoming dates on the board.  If they had an important assignment or a project due, it would be written on the board.  Another thing I liked about the class was that they all had access to computers.  All of the students had an equal opportunity to do research on the internet.  Some examples of work that they did was book reports, vocabulary, reading short stories and group quizzes.  Mr. Smith let me read one of the essays that a student wrote and I found that very interesting.  Mr. Smith had the ability to make the most boring things exciting which I found inspiring.  He never lost the attention of his students and somehow kept them involved all the time. He did this by changing the pitch of his voice and keeping the students active during class.  This resulted in good class participation and the students seemed to be comfortable in the classroom.  Overall, I believe that Mr. Smith was an outstanding teacher with great enthusiasm for his job.  He also cared about the students and their performance which is in my eyes the definition of a good teacher.  The second classroom I visited was Mr. Miller's math class.  He connected with his students by telling jokes and having fun with them.  Although it was nice, the classroom was not as comfortable as the first.  The class was again very racially diverse but it was not as under control at the beginning.  Mr. Miller got the students involved by letting them come to the board and work on examples.  They were learning how to graph equations and most of the students seemed to grasp the material well which reflects well on the teacher and their teaching style.  The class seemed to appreciate Mr. Miller and respect him while he was teaching.  In conclusion, both of the classes that I observed seemed to be very engaged and the teachers were nothing but helpful and respected by their students.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Blog Post 6

While reading Educational Foundations, I found many points I considered valuable.  I put a post-it note on the one I found most valid in the chapter.  "In the banking concept of education, knowledge is a gift bestowed by those who consider themselves knowledgable upon those whom they consider to know nothing.  Projecting an absolute ignorance onto others, a chararastic of the ideology of oppression, negates education and knowledge as process of inquiry." This shows the ignorance that children are wrongly accused of having.  Judgements are not only unfair to the students but also to the teachers.