What did you learn about the teachers (yourself in particular as well as your cooperating teacher)?
Guiding question – how is your identity (your race, language, culture, worldviews, values, experiences, your strength and limitations, etc. etc.) shapes your teaching practice, and the way you interact with children and family? What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that as a teacher my view point is very dominant in my teaching. I believe in being organized and prepared and my coop teacher also held this belief. This was very evident when entering the classroom. It was very organized, there were clear routines, subject duotangs, book boxes and so many other practices that I would and will use in my classroom. I noticed that during my teaching I shared many of my travelling experiences and the things that I had seen and done. For example we were looking through a book about shapes and there was a diamond shape on a snake and we started talking about snakes. I talked about the snakes that I held and saw when I was in Australia. They really wanted to hear more about it so we went off topic for a bit. I think it is better to make the connections because these are the things that students remember.
I also learned that I can do it. I am so much more confident in my abilities to be a teacher. I used to be very confident in my abilities and was an excellent preschool and daycare teacher. Entering the third year all my confidence was thrown out the window. People are constantly saying that you can never reach every child, there are so many hats to wear, the first year of teaching is the worst, you have no life... all these thoughts are being put into our heads and you wonder why we are questioning our career paths. The focus needs to be changed to the good things about teaching. There are so many benefits. Seeing the growth and progress in children, constantly learning new things, exploring and creating, being up to date/current and collaborating with others. Being in a cohort, we have so many supports, friendships, and people to bounce ideas off of, it is great.
What did you learn about the learner?
Guiding questions – how did you consciously try to create a welcoming, safe, and inclusive learning environment for all children to be and to learn? What have you learned about your learners?
I learned that my students were all different. They have similarities but they have more differences. By recognizing this I was able to adapt my lessons and vary my teaching strategies to be inclusive of the students in my class.
What did you learn about the subject matter (particularly the science subjects)?
Guiding questions: what broad range of resources have you (and your cooperating teacher) drawn upon to plan for and to assist you in teaching the subjects? What teaching approaches have you tried and how did they impact students’ learning?
I didn't teach science in my preinternship, my teaching partner did. Resources can and do come from a variety of resources. They came from books, online, other teachers, and from past experiences. I was able to get resources from the university. Block manipulatives and tangrams played a huge part in my teaching and without the use of these from the university I would have had to alter my lessons competely. I also used a lot of the assessment and activities from the Math Makes Sense program. This program is excellent, there are so many good ideas and ways to assess.
I tried many teaching strategies. I used direct, experiential, questioning, leaning centers, individual, group, and indirect stategies. Thses worked well in my class. It kept me from being bored and it kept my students engaged. By varying my strategies I was able to connect with most intelligences and this created a better understanding for students in my class.
What else have you learned from this pre-internship experience?
I learned that I can do it, and I can do it well. I do not have to know everything as long as I am honest with my students I will be good to go.