This week it was noon hour recess when my partner and I arrived at Grant Road School. Soula Selimos, the cooperating teacher was just finishing a reading test with a student when we entered the classroom and the rest of the children were playing outside. Once the student left the classroom, my partner and I listened as the teacher and EA discussed how much the students are improving with their reading. Soon after, the bell rang and it was time to start class. Once out of their winter clothes, the afternoon began with the students lining up to go to another classroom with for their arts education class. In this class the students discussed community, home, and people as well as the relationships between those things. They then wrote down some of their ideas into a journal and drew a picture that corresponded to their writing. Next the class returned to their home room to learn phonics. This included an activity where they were given six letters and they had to come up with different types of words. After this, I demonstrated playing the Appalachian Dulcimer. With this I was able to create a mini lesson around what I was playing for the class. In this lesson I showed them different ways to play and explained the differences to them. Also, there was some time for me to present them with questions. I started some common questions like “What is the instrument family that the dulcimer belongs to?” and “How many strings does it have?” Moving on to harder questions I asked things like “What is the difference in sound when I play two strings instead of one?” To wrap up the lesson, I answered any questions the class had. Immediately after, an announcement came on that there was going to be a fire drill and the students got dressed and performed the procedure. Because it was nice outside, our class buddied up with another class and we stayed outside. During this time the students built snowmen and crazy-carpeted down the hill. To complete the day the children listened to a story read by my partner and once finished the children got dressed and l
eft for home.
Now that my partner and I are a regular component of the class, a strong base of relationships has formed. It was a great feeling when the students came in after recess and swarmed around us to say “hello” and “what instrument did you bring this time?” The fact that the students are excited to see us and ask about the mini music lesson that I will give them, tells me that as a teacher I have created a good learning relationship where they enjoy what I teach but still learn. It is one of my goals as a teacher, to create fun learning. As well my mini-lesson with the students strengthens my choice because through my musical teaching I feel I have been an inspiration. Before I moved to Regina to go to university, I taught music to children privately. Because of this, I already have a basic view of what it is like to be a teacher. However, the students came to me with a basic understanding or previous knowledge of what music has to offer. With this week’s experience, the students had little or no knowledge of playing music. This was important to me because I was able to broaden their view of music and perhaps inspire them to play someday. It is one of my main goals as a teacher: not only to provide knowledge but also to inspire them to take that knowledge and build on it and use it in ways that they can artfully benefit themselves. Besides teaching the children subject material, we were able meet and strengthen relationships with our regular students and as well as with some children from another grade while playing outside. Although, our main purpose was to be supervisors, spending time with them and doing what they like to has allowed me to see my decision to spend my life being a teacher and caring for children is the right one. I feel it is important that the teachers are not only an authoritative figure but also a friend. Because they see and treat me both as a professional and a friend, it confirms I am on the right path for developing a good student-teacher relationship. Something I noticed and would maybe work on as a school is proper fire drill procedure. However it seems like finicky or unimportant details during the drill, I believe practicing things the correct way will be beneficial if the real thing does occur. When the fire bell sounded the children were to go outside. Once outside I noticed a lot of the children scattered or went off into little groups as if it was recess. I think this is poor practice on the administrative side because organization of the students relates directly to student safety. If the students aren’t with their class and everyone is talking, it makes it difficult to know everyone is accounted for and to hear further instructions. To fix this, I feel the staff need to explain to the children proper procedures for practicing/performing in an emergency.
All in all, this week’s involvement within the classroom and the school as a whole has enabled me to reinforce classroom relationships, teaching skills, and to develop my own beliefs as a teacher. As an education student, I feel my field placement this week has been very inspiring, both personally and professionally.