Quotes From The Field Blog

Day 1:

“During my first day, I was given the privilege to help the students make their Valentine’s Day gifts for their parents which were placemats and baskets. The students really enjoyed this and I enjoyed seeing how each student used their creativity. After making Valentine’s Day gifts, we did math together. I took a small group of students out into the hall where we sat in a circle and I attempted to help them with math. It was a sad day when I had to go to the teacher with a question that even I couldn’t figure out… Grade one is tough! But I found it interesting seeing how advanced some students were with their math skill. It was tough to help even a small group of students when the skill levels range so widely! It was good to challenge myself though and I am happy that I was able to start small. During the process, I found that patience and the willingness to take extra time for the students helped a lot. I focussed on making the learning process fun and interesting which I believe is important, especially for the young grades.”


 

Day 2:

“Although St. Gabriel school is a private school, it seems to have a strong connection to the community. It is directly connected to a public school and the second floor of the school consists of a community center where community members are welcome to go and do activities like crafts or exercise. The girl with whom I am doing my field work with works there sometimes and has made tons of connections already. I know that my class has been on some field trips into the community too and the school’s web page has a tab for community events, further connecting the school to the community. “

“This week in St. Gabriel School was interesting. My class had a substitute teacher so that the classroom teacher could take some time to bench mark. I paid attention to how the substitute teacher presented themselves and how they interacted with the students. I know that I too will have to substitute for teachers and so I wanted to get as much out of this experience as possible. I really liked the sub. Because she had taught the class previously, she knew most of the students. This would have been beneficial. The sub, though she followed the classroom teachers notes and agenda, was able to incorporate some of her own activities. For example, during religion studies, she played worship music using her portable speaker that she brought, and had the students explain how the song made them feel. Then she was able to tie her activity back to the teachers lesson. The students loved it and the sub appeared to be enjoying it also. “


 

Day 3:

“To tie everything together, I see teachers honoring different ways of knowing by simply having an understanding of that very fact. When any good teacher understands that every child learns differently and that some children have a unique way of understanding, they will embrace that quality of the child and fit the way they teach that child to that child’s way of learning and knowing. I see teachers promoting  knowledge by being inspirational and showing that learning is beneficial and fun. All the banners and things that I had to cover up during the spelling test were there to promote knowledge as being fun, healthy, and good for us. Finally, teachers can rely on other teachers as supports. Like when I was able to help the teacher in answering her student’s questions regarding art. She did not specialize in art, but since I am, I was able to be a support for her.”


 

Day 4:

“Some form of diversity that may not be as visible could include: where the student came from, mental illnesses, social class, sexual orientation (I wonder how that would play out in the Catholic environment), religious views, etc. “

“A form of diversity that is visible -and that the teacher responds to- is the levels of understanding amongst the class. The teacher understands that some students learn differently, and because she sometimes is unable to recognize the best teaching ways for each student, she does not mark them wrong on assignments. If a student gets an answer wrong then she will circle it, ask the student why they chose the answer they did, then knowing why they got it wrong, help them figure out the correct answer and why it is correct. “

“If a student is clearly trying to learn and understand what we are teaching them, but are not understanding, that tells us that we need to come up with a different strategy for that particular student. “


Day 5:
“It was nice to see how much they had warmed up to me and weren’t afraid to have little conversations with me! The teacher explained that they were extra excited because today was a movie day. While the students watched an Easter movie, I went to the staff room and made up some geometric shape charts. To make the charts I was given smelly markers! I love smelly markers but hadn’t used them since I was in elementary school so that was super exciting! When the movie was over, we made a huge pot of hot chocolate and the students used their leftover marshmallows from their geometry project in their hot chocolate. “

Day 6:

“I have taken some groups of students aside to help them learn some things in their booklets but they rarely need any help. After the teacher gives her lessons, the class can figure the booklets out on their own. However, there are a few students who get stuck on something and don’t ask for help during working time. I got to experience this while I was marking ELA booklets this week. A girl brought her booklet for me to mark but then quietly asked if I could help her because she was a little behind. I looked through her booklet and realized that she was only finished half of her work. We sat down together and worked on her problem areas. It turned out that she just needed some one on one time and she was good to go! This was a great experience and it warmed my heart to know that she was comfortable enough to come to me with her issue and that I was able to help her!”