Real World:The Practicum Experience

Learning to teach whole-group!

First Things First- Day One

On the first day arriving at South Greenville I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. This school was different from the two elementary schools I attended and elementary schools that I've had previously during my practicum experience. When the principal told all of the other students from my class that it was a 100% reduced lunch school, I think it is needless to say that I was very surprised. He also told us not to be fake with the students because they would immediately be able to tell and wouldn't be afraid to call us out on it. To be honest this is the type of school I've always wanted to teach at because I've always wanted to be the type of teacher that turns at least one troubled kids life around. (I got my inspiration from the movie Freedom Writers) So on the first day I was not only excited about seeing what kids we would be working with but also thinking about what kind of positive impact I could have on the children. When we first met the teacher we would be working with we found out that she was a first year teacher and oddly enough that made me feel a little better because we would all be learning together. The teacher also told us that she had the most challenging class in all of the fourth grade classes at the school. This left me feeling nervous about how I was going to be able to manage the students when it was finally my turn to teach. I tried to have a positive outlook and figured that I'd learn a lot about classroom managment which I believe is one of the most important parts of teaching. Day one in this classroom was like nothing I've seen before. The students were all talking out of turn, didn't really handle transitions very well, and seemed to have the hardest time just walking in a quiet straight line in the halls. Once again, this had me thinking "how in the world am I going to be able to keep order in the classroom while I'm teaching!" I'm not going to lie the first day here was very entertaining.

Confessional

I'm allowed to vent on my own blog right? Good! Right now I'm just trying to figure out how I'm going to be able to teach all of my lessons. We just found out that we have to write full lesson plans but we'll only have 30 minutes to teach our lessons! In a way it is sort of a relief but then again we have to do the same amount of work and still figure out how we are going to condense our lesson in order to fit it in the time that they are giving us. I believe they told us the reason we get so little time to teach our lessons is because they have to focus on getting ready for EOG's. The teachers are also focusing on mainly ELA and Math standards because that is where most students are behind. The main focus is making sure that the students are learning as much information as possible, but I really hope I have time to finish all of my lessons!

Casting Call

The first assignment I had to complete was observe and choose a student to do a reading interview with. The observations I made of the students were in order to see what type of books they liked reading, what they looked like when they read, and how often the students read. We had to observe the students without assuming/inferring why students were behaving the way they were. (It's actually harder than it looks) Here's an example, if we saw a student that was looking around while they read, we couldn't just assume that the student was not interested in his/her reading. When you really think about it, this type of observation is better because in reality we don't know why the student is looking around. It could be that they are making connections or disconnections to their reading. So when taking notes while observing I made comments such as Student A is reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid and looks around from time to time.

After observing about three students I had to make a decision on which one I wanted to interview about their feelings about reading. I think the girl that I chose to interview was a great match because we actually had similar interests! She had previously and was currently reading many books that I read at her age. Come to find out, we both like the author Margaret Peterson Haddix. I told her I would bring a picture of when I met the author and this actually got her really excited to work with me. She is an avid reader and is has one of the highest reading levels in the whole class. I think working with her is going to be one of the best parts of working at this school.

Vivian McCarter

I am a Sophomore at East Carolina University. I will be graduating in May 2016 if everything goes as planned! The focus of this blog is on my practicum experience at South Greenville Elementary School. The theme of my blog titles are based off of the show The Real World as you may have been able to tell. Hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed sharing my experience!