After a rough week 1 and week 2, this last week turned out to be a good week and out of the ordinary I started my week with my required half day teaching. Instead of being nervous, I was super excited to manage the morning mostly alone. I did realize that I do need some more classroom management skills especially in the area of what do when you can’t keep the students quiet after you have used several of your tricks. They stop and pay attention for a short while and then start talking. I know part of it is to make the material more engaging but I am not sure how to make writing weekly spelling words, more interesting. I did have some fun activities planned for after we were done the list. There are just somethings that we have to plod through to get to the fun stuff. I had a lot of fun with my math lesson this day. We played Rock Paper Scissors to create, organize and graph data. It was fun.
Tuesday was an unusual day in that I taught two of my math lessons in one day. One in the morning and the other in the afternoon. This was to accommodate my teaching partner’s half day on Wednesday. In the morning we went for a walk to collect data about the signs around our school so we could graph it later in the day. Lesson learned that day is if the students need a chart or something to collect data on, have it pre-made for them. It takes some students a long time to create a simple chart. That delayed us getting outside and started on our walk, so we were only able to go half the distance. In the afternoon lesson we graphed our data and did a final worksheet.
Wednesday was my teaching partner’s half day, and she taught in the dark for part of the morning. The power was out in the west of the city until about 10 am. I was able to see the innovation and unflappableness of teachers in action. While my partner was teaching our grade 4’s, I visited other classrooms. I got to visit the Grade 5’s and see a lesson on text types and then I got visit the other Grade 4’s and see them participate in Literature circles.
Thursday brought me way out of the ordinary. I was able to observe a Grade 10 English class and while I was there a lock down drill happened, first time ever for me. After English I sat in on an ESL class with the same teacher. She has such a great relationship with all her students. I hope I can develop connections like that. I taught my math lesson at the very end of the day. It was my lesson to incorporate Treaty Education into Math. We read the book Stolen Words, talked about how language was a treaty promise that was broken, then we looked at statistics of Indigenous language speakers in Canada. We then practiced making keys with larger numbers. Part of a key is a symbol and a student suggested using a feather, which lead to a discussion of stereotypes. It was a great last day teaching a formal lesson.
Friday was play day. My teaching partner and I designed an escape room activity that reviewed content from their learning in different subject areas over the 3 weeks we were there. We brought cupcakes for dessert at lunch and then we played games all afternoon. Finally it was time for the students to leave for home. Hugs, tears, high fives and laughter ensued as the students said good-bye. I will miss them.
It was great learning experience with some ups and some downs. I have learned a lot about teaching, its not easy in any way but the students capture your heart and try your patience but they are what makes me want to head to internship. I can’t wait for my new placement and to make new connections. My first class though will always hold a special place in my heart.