Tuesday February third was my first day in my ECS 300 field with a grade five class. The grade five class began the day with “O Canada”, which they were either allowed to sing or sign. Once the song ended they silent read while my field partner and I talked to the Co-Op who informed us that one of the students is deaf and has a full time interpreter at the school. The interpreter had also been teaching the kids some basic sign language, to encourage communication. After reading, a woman who had been teaching the students Urdu arrived and we took the students down to the staff room where she baked them a traditional Urdu snack. At the same time my field partner and I would walk around the tables and ask the children who were waiting for their food multiplication questions to keep them busy as a form of classroom management and to prepare them for a math assignment later that day.
After a quick recess it was time for our lesson. My field partner and I began with re-introducing ourselves and then I introduced the warm up/drama game called The Wind Blows. This game involves students lining up along the walls of the classroom and the leader of the activity would call something like “The wind blows for anyone who has a family pet”. I feel I could have explained the game better, which would have lead to the students needing less clarification. I love this game because you get to know the students a little better and get them out of their desks and moving around. This game led in to the next activity, which my field partner introduced. This activity was a worksheet that asked the students five simple questions such as what they wanted to be when they are older. We started this off by sharing our own answers, which gave them the chance to know us a little better. Once the worksheets were handed out the students got to work filling it out and when finished we asked them to draw a picture on the back. When everyone was finished the students each chose one answer to share with the class. I liked this lesson because the students had fun and we got to know more about them and their sense of humor. In the future I might change it to allow for more questions that spurred the creativity that I saw expressed in the drawings on the back.
This classroom experience really enforced my love for teaching, although I still want to teach high school. I love that when teaching is done well it encourages learning in the teacher as well as the students. I am also improving in confidence in the front of the classroom, which has been something I have been challenging myself with since my ECS 100 field experience. I can see improvement in this aspect as well as with my ability to communicate with students, as one of my goals in my future classroom is to create an open environment where students feel safe. This was demonstrated when the students appeared comfortable sharing their answers from the worksheet with the class. Becoming a teacher is not something that happens overnight but I feel I am well on my way to becoming Ms. Milligan.