Week 1 - Field Placement
Week One: Students & Learning Environment: You will focus on the students in the classrooms.
Core Questions: Who are your learners? What does the learning environment look like? Spend some time talking with students to get to know who they are. Join your students on the playground at recess and have informal conversations (and let them get to know a bit about you too). What does the learning environment look like? Take a photo of the classroom (empty) or draw a sketch of what the classroom looks like. Does this remind you of your own schooling or is it very different? How does this space make you feel?
Today was my first field placement on my journey to becoming a teacher. To begin the day our co-op teacher did attendance by having the students answer (ex. What is your favorite kind of pop?). This was an awesome strategy I learned because it's another way to engage and develop a relationship with students. Every day our co-op teacher picks a student who is the "Star of the Day" that gets to choose where they sit, lead lines, pick the book read to them during storytime, and are essentially the teacher's helper. This strategy allows students to have the authority of their learning and gain leadership skills.
In the first few minutes, I could pick out my learners in the class. These students were engaged, asked questions and were there because they wanted to learn. This classroom was full of learning resources. All bulletin boards were filled with informational posters or artwork. One very important thing I noticed when I first walked into the classroom was the one bulletin board was full of Indigenous people's treaties, traditions, and rights. There was a medicine wheel, a bunch of sage for smudging, and above the bulletin board was numbers 1-10 in Cree. Another interesting addition to my placement school was the national anthem is played in different languages regularly to show diversity and inclusion within their school. The anthem is also introduced recognizing the land on which the school gathers. I also noticed throughout the school there were informational bulletin boards on Indigenous people in Saskatchewan. During social studies, our class went into the library and made bird feeders for the students to take home. The social studies teacher shared with us that the reasons for making the bird feeders were from an Indigenous people book that they had read about helping the community one lives in. The tables in the classroom were divided into pods for group work. There were many things in the classroom that I noticed that were for students to use for modified learning. There were rocking chairs and saucers for sitting in. These chairs were used for students who needed them or the teacher used them for the students to have a choice. During recess, I visited with the students and get to know some information about them that I can use to develop a relationship with them in our future conversations. I believe sharing stories with my students will allow me to have strong genuine relationships.
This classroom did not remind me of my time in elementary school. I remember my classrooms having many colorful bulletin boards covered in student's art and not as many informational posters. I remember learning information on Indigenous people's rights, traditions, and treaties but I do not remember it being out for presentation in the class. In my elementary school years, we didn't have accommodations like rocking chairs to help focus. I believe this is an awesome improvement in our school systems. This classroom makes me feel happy. I felt welcomed into this classroom with open arms and I believe it will hold a place in my heart on my journey to educating. I look forward to expanding my knowledge at my placement school.