Field Experience: Teachers & Knowledge (Week 3)

How do you see teachers honouring different ways of knowing?

 

My teacher always give students options. My students are learning how to write letters, and they just learned how to write “D”. They have to finish writing “D” 8 times, and then, they have a choice of either colouring a dinosaur picture, or they can do letter “D” shape maze. My teacher knows students tend to be engaged when they have a choice after a hard work.

  Also, when students learn ABCs, my teacher lets students use the whole body to memorize. For example, when they learn A for avion (plane in French), she starts pretending she is flying while she says “avion”. Then Students start walking around with their both hand in the air while saying “avion” as well.  My teacher is into “learning by doing”.

 

How do you see your teacher promoting knowledge in the classroom?

 

My teacher promotes knowledge by using the walls, having “play centres”, using a lot of gestures when she tells students what to do in French. In play centres, they have a light table so that it’s easier for students trace letters, along with clay to make letter shape.

Also, they have a grocery store centre which they need to role play and count vegetables and such. My teacher always similes when students are playing centres and says “those kids have no idea that they are learning right now, they think they are just playing”.

 

What are the key supports that teachers rely on?

 

My teacher relies on what students are supposed to learn (curriculum), and also, she relies on her students to do their best in any situation. She has been working on students’ independance. She doesn’t help them when she knows they can do it by themselves, instead, she cheers them by giving them ideas so they can do things better and faster.  She relies on smartboard and books with a lot of pictures so students can guess what the book is about. In smartboard, she puts french songs on, and she uses gestures with the lyrics so students can guess what the songs are about.

A lot of teachers rely on education assistants in a class to have a better classroom management as well.

 

How do teachers continue to build their own professional knowledge?

 

My teacher told me to take any pictures in the classroom and school because there are bunch of ideas that I may want to use in the future. She said that she often visits the other classrooms just to “steal” their ideas.  Also on PD(Professional Development) days, teachers learn a lot of things that could be beneficial for both teachers and students; for instance, mindfulness, nonviolent crisis intervention, and so on. I found the website what teachers in AB do on PD days:

https://www.teachers.ab.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/ATA/For-Members/Programs-and-Services/Workshops%20Courses%20and%20Presentations/PD-79%20Workshops%20Poster%202017.pdf

Reading Lists

  • When I was in Education Assistant practicum, I met this student who had been badly abused at home. Social workers had taken her away from her parents to live with her grandparents. She had some behaviours such as running away from school, and I didn’t really understand what it is like to be in her situation, and how her experience with abuse has affected her. So, I bought this book called “Scared Selfless” written by Michelle Stevens.f.PNG

This book taught me so many things about abuse and what happens to those children who have been abused.

 

  • I really love this children book called “How Full Is Your Bucket?”.ioIt represents how giving pointed individualized praise to those in your family, friends and work can lead to far-reaching mental and physical benefits to productivity and health.

 

 

 

 

Volunteer Experiences

When I was in high school in Japan…

  • I have attended a sports event for special needs children.
  • have visited elders helped with chores and listened to their old stories.

When I was in college in Japan and in Canada…

  • Volunteered to pick up garbage around the train station every week for a few months.
  • Got involved with introducing brand new Japanese products in trade show in Tokyo.

gift-show-1024x680

  • Volunteered as a translator when Canadian students came to my hometown with an exchange program.

 

Recently…

  • Was a volunteer for Leaping Feats Creative Dance Works when they had a dance show in Yukon Arts Centre. I organized their costumes while other volunteers were organizing students’ schedule.

Leaping Feats Creative Dance Works Website:

http://www.leapingfeats.com/

 

 

Field Experience: Inclusive Education-Diversity and Difference (Week4&5)

What are the different forms of diversity you observe within the classroom and school?

 

Like Julie showed us school wall the students made, I found one in my school as well. Those ones are made by students and they can do tasks, read, write and daydream.

 

In my kindergarten class, the teacher uses a smartboard often especially for songs. All the songs are in French, and all of them have subtitles which really help me sing along because I don’t speak French.  Also, the teacher always uses gestures when she speaks to students especially in French. I don’t understand what she says in French most of the time, however I can understand what she mentioned thanks to her gesture. Some students understand French almost perfect, but some are still in a beginner level. The teacher’s gesture helps every student understand what she says.  Along with her gesture, she shows samples while she explains about crafts which is easier for students to understand because it is visible.

 

When I walk around school, I see older students work on their tasks in hallway. Some students are sitting, standing and lying down…whichever position they feel comfortable while working on tasks. I was never allowed to work on tasks in hallway in any position when I was in school, so I saw diversity there as well.

 

What may be some forms of diversity that are not visible?

 

I am amazed by my mentor not judging her students work. Some students struggle with their fine motor skill such as using scissors and pencils. Some are not good at making their work colourful and some can’t focus as long as other students can. Therefore, some crafts aren’t as ideal as adults expect from children. My mentor teacher seems to understand what each student can do and what they struggle with. For example, some students struggle writing their names correctly, and instead of judging, she writes them an example so they can copy, or she writes the names with highlighter so students can trace. She uses different methods for each student.  Also, some students get distracted easily, so instead of yelling at them, she lets them stand or move around for a bit so they can focus again.  My mentor teacher always sees her students’ best work not the “good” or “perfect” work.

 

In what ways do you observe the school, classrooms and teachers honouring inclusive practices?

I noticed there are a lot of options for students in the classroom. For example, there is a choice time for students to play in centres such as kitchen, dollhouse, cars, costume, colouring and so on. They can start with any centre and they need to move to a different centre after 10 minutes. The teacher added a lot of fine motor skill related items in each centre, so she doesn’t care which centre students go. Students have two centres to play each day so that they won’t get “stuck” in their most favorite centre.

 

Along with choices in centres,  I see every student can show their talent in crafts. For instance,  there are a lot different ideas and talent in pumpkin crafts. My mentor teacher lets students work on tasks with their original ideas.

 

In school, I see a lot of hokki stools and chairs that let students move while sitting.

The school also encourages students’ family members to volunteer as a helper along with a lot of education assistants in school. I believe having students’ family members as a volunteer is huge because it gives opportunities for teachers to have closer relationship with them and they can see the differences from the schools they used to attend. 

How is your school community honouring diversity, equity, and human rights for all students (including sexual and gender diversity) within their schools and communities?

 

First thing I found on the wall in school was this quite attached below.   The quote shows my school respects every student’s human right and who they are.

 

My teacher treats every student in a same way with welcoming body language; for example, she asks every student how they are at the beginning and ask why they are feeling that way. I believe students feel comfortable to show if they are sad or happy and explain why. At the end of the day, the teacher gives every student a hug with big smile.  She really knows how to create a safe and welcoming environment for her students!!

 

When it comes to sexual and gender diversity, I could not find much in school, however; I found a few in classroom.  One of the centres has dollhouse, dolls,cars, trucks, dinosaur figures and so on all combined which implies every gender is in one centre. Also, I noticed the teacher says “les amis” to students all the time. It means “friends” in English, and she told me she  chooses the word because there is no inequity in it. I tend use “boys” “girls” and “ladies” to everyone and I’d never noticed that  those words create gender inequity until my mentor teacher mentioned about it.  Additionally, she told me she interrupts students when they say things such as “boy colour” or “girl’s table”. She tells them colours and tables are for everyone.

Field Experience: Teachers and Knowledge(Week 3)

How do you see teachers honouring different ways of knowing?

 

My teacher always give students options. My students are learning how to write letters, and they just learned how to write “D”. They have to finish writing “D” 8 times, and then, they have a choice of either colouring a dinosaur picture, or they can do letter “D” shape maze. My teacher knows students tend to be engaged when they have a choice after a hard work.

  Also, when students learn ABCs, my teacher lets students use the whole body to memorize. For example, when they learn A for avion (plane in French), she starts pretending she is flying while she says “avion”. Then Students start walking around with their both hand in the air while saying “avion” as well.  My teacher is into “learning by doing”.

 

How do you see your teacher promoting knowledge in the classroom?

 

My teacher promotes knowledge by using the walls, having “play centres”, using a lot of gestures when she tells students what to do in French. In play centres, they have a light table so that it’s easier for students trace letters, along with clay to make letter shape.

Also, they have a grocery store centre which they need to role play and count vegetables and such. My teacher always similes when students are playing centres and says “those kids have no idea that they are learning right now, they think they are just playing”.

 

What are the key supports that teachers rely on?

 

My teacher relies on what students are supposed to learn (curriculum), and also, she relies on her students to do their best in any situation. She has been working on students’ independance. She doesn’t help them when she knows they can do it by themselves, instead, she cheers them by giving them ideas so they can do things better and faster.  She relies on smartboard and books with a lot of pictures so students can guess what the book is about. In smartboard, she puts french songs on, and she uses gestures with the lyrics so students can guess what the songs are about.

A lot of teachers rely on education assistants in a class to have a better classroom management as well.

 

How do teachers continue to build their own professional knowledge?

 

My teacher told me to take any pictures in the classroom and school because there are bunch of ideas that I may want to use in the future. She said that she often visits the other classrooms just to “steal” their ideas.  Also on PD(Professional Development) days, teachers learn a lot of things that could be beneficial for both teachers and students; for instance, mindfulness, nonviolent crisis intervention, and so on. I found the website what teachers in AB do on PD days:

https://www.teachers.ab.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/ATA/For-Members/Programs-and-Services/Workshops%20Courses%20and%20Presentations/PD-79%20Workshops%20Poster%202017.pdf

Field Experience: School and Community (Week 2)

Who are the people in your school?

 

My field experience school has 27 teachers, 7 support staffs, 3 staffs at literacy centre, 1 at library,1 technology advisor, and 3 caretaking staffs.  Students are from kindergarten to grade 5, and the principal told me there are about 600 students in total. There are parent volunteers in school as well.  I had an opportunity to eat lunch at staff room with teachers today, and they seemed all friendly, and it seemed they all have good relationship with each other.  The principal is a caring person; for example,  he visits classes often just to say hi and I saw him this morning picking up garbage on the street which made me believe he really cares about his school.

I met my mentor teacher for the first time today  because she was absent last week. She was very friendly and she is all about students’ independence and diversity. She always has options for students in any tasks,  and she loves seeing her students’ creative ideas.  Madam “M” gives students a lot of positive feedbacks as well. I noticed a lot of teachers in my school often empower students. They respect students’ independence and they are there to guide, not to control them.

 

How would you describe the school and surrounding community?  

 

The school is about 20 years old or older and they just added French immersion program this year.  The school is located in a small town (30,000 people) in family residential area with a before after school building ran by Boys and Girls club next to the school.

(Left: Boys and Girls club before after school building, Right: My field experience school)

 

I thought having before after childcare right next to the school is such a great idea for working parents. The childcare can share the school playground as well.

 

Inside the school is fairly bright and a lot of students’ projects are on the wall.

The community has  mixed culture; there are a lot of people from Phillipines and middle east countries as well.  The community has been growing because the area is famous for oil and gas industry.

 

What and who do you see as creating the links between school and community?

 

They have around 30 students from reserve area which is a long bus ride for kids, so they created breakfast program so they won’t have to start their school hungry. The program is also available for any student in the school.

(Today’s breakfast)

 

Additionally, they are having parents’ conference this week, and parents made dinner for teachers because most of the teachers live in Calgary which is over 30 min drive away from the school. Parents made dinner for teachers so that they don’t have to go drive long way home hungry which shows great relationship between the school and the parents.

When I was in different schools for my education assistant practicums, I didn’t see much connection between teachers and parents. It is very nice to see teachers and parents are working together.