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Professional Development Journal Response April 7, 2014

Posted by jennienorgaard in EMTH 350, Uncategorized.
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After my three-week field experience has been completed and I look back on the 3 big questions I answered before pre-internship the one question I would answer differently would be the first question on the main purposes of field experiences. I still think that field placements are a great way to experience things first hand such as if teaching is really what you want to do and if you enjoy what you are doing. After my three-week block I would say that these placements are more than just that as well. These field placements are a great time to learn things in the field with your co-op teacher and make as many mistakes as you can. These experiences and mistakes I made in my class broaden my learning from what we talk about in my university classes. However, apart from the hands on experience I got from this placement I would have to say I learned more from watching other teachers teach and my partner teach than when I was up at the board teaching alone. I got to observe and see how different teachers managed their classes and how they interacted with their students. Just from watching this I was able to take away some valuable things to do when I teach. In this experience I also learned that everything I learn in university through the Education Program doesn’t always get implemented in a classroom. For example in University you learn about how to deal with different situations as they arise in your classroom. But sometimes things don’t work out the same in your classroom as the scenarios we learn and talk about in university and you have to do things a bit differently. I also think that being able to experience these things first hand and not just read and talk about it in class is totally different. You will never fully understand the importance of why we have to do certain things a certain way until you actually experience it in your own classroom. When I was observing my partner teach and other teachers teach was when I was able to pick out the little things that we should be doing in our class as we teach. I think that the university programs are helpful but it is more beneficial when you can see these things happen in real life either from observing other people teach or even when you teach yourself. So in general, I think the university programs are a great start in helping you understand different things that can occur and how to deal with them in a classroom. But ultimately the best way to learn is from actually experiencing these situations in a class for yourself and being able to talk about it afterwards with your co-op teacher and partner. So in the end, the main purposes of these experiences are for you to actually go out in the field and experience the things you learn and talk about in university classes. It is one thing to talk about them in class at university but it is another thing to actually see the things take place in your own classroom. Apart for realizing if teaching really is for you through these placements, they are also a way to help your have a better understanding of the different things you talk about and learn in class throughout university. I also found that some of the things we talk about in university were not the best way to go with some things. For example, we always talk about a student centered learning style to try and take on. But from my experience, the students learned better when it was a teacher directed type of lesson. When I had a cooperative learning/jigsaw activity for the students to take part in they were not sure what to do and how to do things without being instructed by the teacher. So I think in the end the things we learn in university can very well be beneficial but it all depends on the group of students you have in your classroom!

In this quote it talks about how “preservice teachers can be puzzled and surprised because they are students at the same time they are learning to be teachers.” I found this to be very true! The transition from being a university student to being the teacher to the grade 9 students was a struggle to try and overcome. It took a couple of days to get use to it but after that things were better from there on out. In the beginning I found it difficult to try and teach the grade 9 students this new content that they were not familiar with when I had just come from the same end of the spectrum where I was the person trying to learn what the teacher was teaching not that long ago. As a preservice teacher I had to start doing things differently then what I normally do as a university student. I was now responsible for my own actions and I was also responsible for the students learning as well. Just like it states in the quote, “It is important that preservice teachers acquire a discovery, problem-solving mode that allows them to inquire and examine their teaching and the students’ learning through reflection and inquiry.” I found this to be very relevant as well considering the fact that when I was a preservice teacher I was in charge of teaching the students this new material and I had no one to blame for any of the mistakes that I made along the way. If things didn’t go as planned I had no one to blame but myself because I was responsible for all the things in the lessons being taught. Now that I am done being a preservice teacher, I am finding it extremely hard to come back to university for a week where I am now the student again. I find it difficult to transition from being the teacher to having to be the student again and study for finals.

Pre-internship overall was an amazing experience where I learned a lot and it made me realize that teaching really is what I want to do! The university aspect of becoming a teacher has always got me second guessing myself about whether or not I really truly want to be a teacher in the end. After this field experience I can say I am more confident with the idea of becoming a teacher.

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