Week 10: 5/7-5/11
This past week was a full one. Even though I started out sick with a fever and being sent home, missing a full day, and really only having three days to teach, those three days were chock full of experiences. Some were good, like getting to observe another classroom and going on a local field trip to see one of our own students star as the Music Man, but some were more difficult like coming up against a resistant student, constantly preparing for the M.S.P. (Measurement of Student Progress) and finding time to finish my T.P.A. (Teacher Pedagogical Assessment). Although, it was full and at times overwhelming, I was able to persevere and complete the week with time to spare to enjoy some of the much needed sunshine.
Starting the week not feeling well was something I thought I could push through. But as the day wore on and my fever escalated my abilities to connect with the students in a valuable way diminished and I was sent home. I took the next day off to recover and thank goodness because I felt much better when I returned on Wednesday. Wednesday was a BIG day in C-6 for one of our very own was starring in the musical The Music Man as the lead. Although, this trip took away from valuable instructional time at a time in the year when review of conceptual attainment and consistency in instruction is imperative, the students, my mentor, and I all fell it was worth it. The swell of pride as we watched the courage it takes to be a lead in a production, understood the time, devotion, and hard work he put into staging this show, became an important life lesson that we could not have taught in the classroom.
This week I was able to observe a straight 4th grade classroom and see the differences and similarities that are unique to each, straight grade and multiage, learning environment. Although, the teacher that I observed is my mentor’s teaching partner the deliverance and style of teaching are very different. There seemed to be more direct instruction with large group activity as I observed a social studies lesson about the Oregon Trail. This was a Storypath where the students participate in “family units’ and have to make decisions based upon incidents that occur similar to what would have happened on the Oregon Trail; flash floods, death of a family member, all the food going bad, etc. This is an ongoing exploration of culture, society, and historical significance through the re-enactment by the students. It was very dynamic and the students seemed really excited about learning and participating in the journey. The classroom had an entire wall covered with a map of the United States that they developed at the start of the year. The social studies curriculum yearlong has been focused on the development and progression of the United States, its growth and settlement, over time. For the Oregon trail the student have depicted where they have been using yarn to mark their trail and are involved as a group of settlers and family units to decide where they will go to end in Oregon City. I really enjoyed seeing and hearing different classroom management styles and I feel that this will only help to improve my own ideological preferences for interactions with future students. I look forward to visiting a kindergarten class this week and am sure that I will glean just as much from the younger age student-teacher interactions and classroom management style.
Lastly, I was once again, in the midst of the pressures of both the T.P.A and M.S.P. preparation for the students, confronted by a defiant student. Each experience with this type of challenge demands that I seek additional help from my mentor teacher and principal, thus, affording me the opportunity to learn valuable management skills. I understand the vital necessity for a good relationship with not only other classroom teachers but more importantly the principal. This partner-relationship offers a team of support for difficult situations and allows for multiple experienced perspectives to be shared. I am thankful that I am able to see this in action, participate in, and I will continue to seek out developing this style of support in my future employment.