Before taking a lot of time to sit down and reflect upon my experiences during student teaching in Philadelphia, I thought and realized how much I have learned from my cooperating teacher. I have implemented teaching strategies, planning instruction, the importance of reaching every learner, ways of assessing the children, and behavior management into my role as an educator. I also looked at my student teaching goals that I have reached and the growth I have made. I have noticed that during my second quarter of student teaching, I have taken everything I have learned from quarter one and adjusted myself into a lower grade level, this time with more confidence at the beginning. In this reflection, however, I will explain how I have made reflective and deliberate decisions based on content, the learner & the learning environment, teaching & the learning process, professionalism, and the learning cycle.
[...] I have learned through the experience of student teaching that some children need to work one-on-one with someone, some students need to be scaffold by a teacher, some students need checklists when following a process, some students need to use a manipulative or tools when independently working on math, some students need examples on their desks, and some students need to listen to a cassette tape during independent reading. These types of things you always need to take into effect to create a successful learning environment for every child. [...]
[...] During student teaching, I have beneficially learned what happens when you do not do these things. You cause the children to be confused and you waste time because then you need to re-teach the content and spend more time on it. That is not something a teacher is too happy about when needing to follow a time-lined curriculum. I have demonstrated subject matter competency by modeling how to read with fluency during guided reading, shared reading, and reading aloud to students. [...]
[...] I started exploring what I knew, as far as teaching specific content, exploring how to reach the learners and creating a learning environment, exploring different teaching strategies with the learning process in mind, and exploring the involvement and responsibilities when it comes to professionalism, during my last semester of college. I have spent weeks in Philadelphia exploring some more. I learned an amazing amount of meaningful and useful strategies, techniques, and concepts during those weeks of student teaching. It was like I was thrown onto the stage and I needed to be the actress. [...]
[...] When it comes to the learner & the learning environment, I have learned many different strategies to reaching each and every child by observing my cooperating teachers, by using trial and error, and just by getting ideas discussed with other teachers and student teachers. I have learned a very long time ago, back in my foundation education classes that not every child learns the same way. After going through my apprentice I and II semester, I have been able to observe the effects of children not getting something being taught because it was taught focused on a learning style that did not fit them that well. [...]
[...] Student teaching in Philadelphia has strongly impacted my life as a teacher, as well as a person. I walked into this school district as the minority, a little skeptical about my choice to do my student teaching in the city. Now weeks later I do not know that I am a white person inside my classroom. I do not look at the children as if they are black. I do not see color, I see children. I believe that every child wants to learn. [...]
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