Tuesday, 5 May 2015

First Year Teaching Placement: Day Two

         Alright, let's get to the nitty gritty. Today was my second day of my teaching placement, and to be honest I already feel like I belong here. We started off the day with some Science and discussion about water pollution and what not. I wrote some notes on the dry erase board for students to reference to and I felt like a real teacher then. Afterwards the students got worksheets to work on and I helped this girl named Antonia the whole time because she's a bit more behind than the other students in her inability to read. I noticed that she had really low self esteem so I did my best to encourage her and help her read and finish the worksheet problems and you could see a sense of pride in her as we were ripping through the questions. It was so nice to see a change in expression from a student who was so unsure about herself to becoming more open to learning.
         Next was a little cooking session after recess where we made Mother's Day gifts, peppermint scented bath salts. To be honest, whenever I heard the words "bath salts" I think about that crazy man who got high off bath salts and killed someone, but that's just my crazy mind thinking about irrelevant things. Anyway, it was so messy but you can tell that these kinds of hands on activities and engaging things were very enjoyable for the students. It allowed them to move around and work with their hands rather than sit and do worksheets all day. I noticed that after our cleaning session, this boy Duncan's desk was particularly messy so I asked him to clean up and he literally took all the salt on the table and swiped it onto the floor. I was so shocked by his actions but I wasn't mad at all, I just told him to help me clean it up and explained to him why we don't do that.
        After I ate lunch by myself (because the teachers had a union meeting and I wasn't allowed to go) I spent about an hour in the staff room photocopying papers all day and making little books for the students. There were three different reading levels for students who need more simple books versus those who are more comfortable with reading. So that consumed a lot of my time but it was nice to be able to sit down for a solid hour. Although I did notice that there were two teachers (I think?) sleeping on the couches behind me, I don't know but I found it kind of funny because they were teachers napping on the couches and you don't really think of staff or professionals just napping like that. It was cool seeing the other side of how things are and work in a school, I don't know.
       I think this led to our second last period which was called Measurement and there was another teacher who taught this Math class and it had to do with telling time. And the teacher was not very effective in teaching it because I could just tell that half the students did not know how to do the worksheets that she assigned. I had to go one on one with several students and explain them everything from the start, who knew telling time could be so hard for children. For last period, it was Computers where the kids were basically allowed to use the computers and go on any educational or game site, and I found it really interesting how they were given the freedom to do so. Many of them went to PBS Kids or TVO Kids, but many of the boys played a game called "Snail something" I forget but it was funny to watch. I was basically just watching them play their games and asked them what they were doing and all that jazz.
       After school, Miss. Anderson and I debriefed a little and I asked her about some teaching stuff. And she said she would show me her lesson plans and year long lesson plans, and her teaching portfolio, and she basically gave me a lot of tips. She is such a wonderful person honestly, I really admire her and look up to her. She is really knowledgable and understanding of the students' needs especially because many of them have exceptionalities.

Until next time!
Suzy Zhang

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