Week 5 Reflection

This week marked the completion of our first month in our three month practicum! Unfortunately for me though it didn’t start off on a good note. I received some upsetting family news at the beginning of the week that my grandma who suffered a severe stroke 3 years ago had passed away. It wasn’t surprising news, but it was sad none the less. I knew that I was ok to go ahead and go to the school and be my cheery self for my students, but throughout the first day there were moments when I wasn’t occupied with prep or assisting a student that I felt a little shaky or lost I guess. I honestly think that no one would have known different if I didn’t say anything about it because all my classes went smoothly. However, I am my own biggest critic and I felt like they did go well but I knew that it could of been stronger if I were more confident.
After that first day the rest of the week felt like any other week coming to work and doing what I love to do. I have to say after all the drama at the beginning; this past week was my favourite week of teaching here in Kelowna so far. On Wednesday, I had my week observation and my sponsor teacher and I had planned out a really great lesson for my faculty to observe. I have been working on my confidence in front of my grade 11 classes, so I always feel pretty nervous before and during their lessons. However, this Wednesday I found myself feeling calm and I was able to really enjoy the whole class and all the problems that came from it. I always say that building strong relationships is the most important thing to me in teaching, and since I have been able to do that with my students every class I teach now I feel them coming more alive in the guided practice and instruction. It was a great observation, and I felt for the first time really pleased with the overall day of teaching. I was able to take students questions and work through the problems building onto previous and future knowledge.
There are several little things that I still need to continue to work on mainly in classroom management, but I know that in time and practice those key qualities will build up to what I need them to be. I need to take my time and really make sure that I am observing all the small actions that are going on in my classes. We also discussed possible ways to make the instruction more student directed and checking for learning from all members of the class.
There have been several interruptions in some of my classes, and hence my grades 11’s have fallen behind in their work. My sponsor teacher and I agreed to postpone their test deadline from this past Friday to next Tuesday. I worry about them a lot because even though I have seen that they are very hard workers in class they are progressing slowly as a group and not taking the initiative to come to tutorials for extra help. With the flipped classroom style the students are able to work at their own pace, but I need to continue to keep some pressure on them to stay on track. I am about to start to have the “hot seat” with my students which I am very excited about to really get a chance to chat one on one about how they are feeling and progressing.
I ended my week with my peer observation in my Math 8 class. I was really pleased at how it went because the students responded so well to the activity and really enjoyed the content from that day. My colleague who observed me also really enjoyed the lesson and left having learned some fun math facts!
This next week is the last week before the two week spring break. I am planning on having some tests with all my classes; however I am aware that many of our students will already be away for the break. I am looking forward to continue working on my confidence, being observant and being tougher when it is needed.

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