Teaching & Learning Environment
I was placed in 1st, 4th, and 5th grade. The 1st grade classroom was very exciting and was filled with lots of energy. However, the 4th and 5th grade was in a special needs classroom. There was a lot more structure with these children but they were very fun to be with all day. Overall the classroom environment was very nice and welcoming. I felt the kids knew their place and were very comfortable being there. They also had a close relationship with their teacher and were not afraid to speak up and say something or ask the teacher for help. I think this makes for a great learning environment. When students are comfortable and happy they will be more likely to open up and learn more.
The students and teacher all got along great and would joke around with each other. However, they knew what was crossing the line and sometimes had to be reminded how to behave. They had a lot of incentives to do good and they wanted to be rewarded. The teacher rewarded the ones who deserved it and was very fair. The kids knew what was expected of them and knew when they didn't deserve the reward. I think this helped them gain trust and respect for their teacher.
The students were very supportive of each other and helped each other out. One girl was struggling to get her project done and another student stepped in to help her without being told to do so. They all had a close relationship because it was a smaller classroom and they all got along very well.
Douglass is a smaller school so it feels very welcoming and inviting. I enjoyed doing my observations here because I wasn't just another person observing. They wanted me involved in the classrooms and wanted to show me everything they had to offer. I never felt in the way or ignored.
An interesting experience I had involved the teacher letting me take control and watch/teach the kids. We were working on math skills so I created a sheet of paper that had ten different amounts of money for example, $4.89, $9.99, or $124.50 and they had to go to the table and get the correct change and show it to me. I checked them off as they went along. It was fun for me and the kids really seemed to enjoy it.