When my partner and I arrived at Grant Road School it was noon hour recess. Soula Selimos, the cooperating teacher, briefly introduced us to the grade two class and the children resumed their activities. While the children played I walked
around and asked them to tell me about their activities. During this time I was able to join in on some of their games such as “acting” or “Xs and Os”. Once class started my partner and I introduced ourselves and told them where we are from, our interests and answered any questions the children had for us. The
se questions ranged from “what is your favourite color” to “What is your parents’ names?” As well, the class did a spelling test and we were involved in correcting them. Later, a student did “Star of the Week” where she shared pictures of her and her family and told about herself. Furthermore, the class worked on differentiating verbs and adverbs and understanding the uses of them. The activity for this was matching the correct words describing the action with a picture. For physical education the students were unable to go to the gym so we did a kickboxing workout in the class room. This workout included different types of high energy punches and kicks as well as stretches that preceded and concluded the workout. During the afternoon recess the class continued their play from the previous recess inside. Again I talked to different children about what it was they were doing and their interests. Also the class visited the library and picked out books and listened to a story read by the librarian. Once back to the classroom the children started a project for Valentines. In this project the students had to write a paragraph naming the certain characteristics they liked about another classmate. Once the students finished that they were to get dressed and ready for home.
Even though, we were unable to tour the school and meet the staff this time, I was able to gather several impressions of how it functions from the parts that I did see. Outside the school I noticed many windows. I think it is important to make the school appear and feel like a comfortable learning space and I think this can be achieved through natural lighting and being able to view the outside environment. The school should not appear like a “jail.” In the hallways the overall culture of the school was reflected through student projects, as well as school awards. These displays supply the students with a sense of importance and achievement. It also shows the students that hard work and responsibility can be rewarding. Additionally, the displays create an atmosphere of the school was very welcoming and friendly. Furthermore, I believe that public school is a function of community - it reflects and promotes the community’s values and ideals. Through this people are able to learn and function better within the community. As well, school also provides child care and reduces crime rates. Nevertheless, schools can create many challenges that encourage the community to improve and develop.
Upon arriving at the school I was greeted by friendly office staff and taken to the classroom. My initial impression of the children was “wow, they are so small.” Along with that reaction came my most challenging question, “how do I ask or explain something so that they understand?” However, as I worked with them I became more aware of their knowledge and I was able to help them more effectively. By playing games and getting involved with their activities, my main goal was to create relationships with the children and help them as much as I could. I feel it is very important to develop friendly relationships with the children as well as maintaining a professional attitude. Through the activities, I was able to learn that children do learn through play. Although it does not teach, for example, specific grammar rules or mathematical equations, children learn many valuable social and relationship skills. For this afternoon in the classroom, the most meaningful moments as a teacher that occurred was when I was asked to tie someone’s shoe, read a book, and called “Mr. Slepicka.” Even though, they appear like small and somewhat insignificant instances, I think they were important because it allowed me to see that even the smallest actions can have the greatest impact. Throughout the classes an idea that I found intriguing was the allowance of food and water bottles during class. This caught my attention because I think children can better concentrate and focus on learning with a full stomach and I believe food can create better brain functioning. All in all, this was a great experience and introduction to the teaching field.