Saturday, December 6, 2008

End of the Semester Reflection

The end of the semester has finally come and I can't believe the journey I have been on. This semester has really helped me grow as a teacher and it has helped me see what kind of teacher I would like to be with my students. Being in QUEST 2 has been a very enlightening experience and I can see how essential it was for me to go through this. I now feel I am better prepared to be a teacher. I have gotten some what better with my communication to the class. I can now speak to the students with more ease than what I was able to in the past. I guess since I'm not really nervous around them anymore I can formulate my thoughts into words and communicate them efficiently to the students. I am still working on my classroom management techniques. I find that I lay down the consequences but I don't ever enforce them so I definitely need to work on that. I have learned to create lesson plans in which the students are throughly engaged with. Everytime I taught a lesson, this semester, the students were always really interested in the activity and content that was within it. The students were usually excited when I got up to teach. This semester I was in a third grade classroom and it is very different than the first grade classroom that I had during the first rotation. Third graders tend to be more dependent and the lessons they are taught are usually geared towards the TAKS test. I noticed that my teacher would give them lots of TAKS practice questions involved with reading and you could tell how bored the students were when they had to do this. I felt really sorry for them and it made me wish that they didn't have to worry about and take the TAKS test. Whenever I could I tried to make their assignments interesting because they were in need of interesting and fun lessons. All this semester I was able to uphold my professional attributes; it wasn't very hard to do because these attributes are second nature to me. I have grown up possessing majority of the professional attributes and that is credited to my parents. They have taught me what it means to be the best person that you can be. Working with students has actually made me want to work harder and do my best because I care for all children and I want them to learn as much as they can from me. In order for that to happen I have to be responsible, flexible, creative, understanding and patient. The students, this semester, helped bring those qualities out of me everyday. So everyday I gave a hundred percent and nothing less. I am really greatful for going through QUEST 2 and I can't wait till QUEST 3 starts.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mid-term Reflection

I have just finished my first rotation with first graders and it definitely was an exciting journey. I am getting better with my oral communication skills but of course I still need more practice. Teaching so many lessons this first rotation has made it easier for me to stand up in front of the class and teach them. As I started to get into the lesson that I was teaching I would actually start to loosen up and I was able to really think about what I wanted to say before I said it. While giving a lesson on poems I was really able to lead the class into what I wanted them to learn and I was able to spurt off questions about the topic without having to really put much thought into it. So I guess I can say it's becoming a little second nature. I have learned so far that there is a lot more things involved in teaching then what I thought. I know my teacher gets overwhelmed with how much stuff she has to do and it seems like it's never ending. I have learned that not everything goes according to plan and you just have to be very flexible and face whatever comes your way. I have learned that First graders are very enthusiastic learners and they really look up to you. That's why I want to teach first grade when I graduate because they are very inquisitive and they are very engaged and interested in whatever they are learning at the moment. I have noticed that I need to work on my class management skills because as of right now they are kind of poor. I didn't realize how hard it is to teach a lesson and manage the class. Teachers are definitely multitaskers. I noticed while walking the class to their specials that it's hard to keep each child in line and if you pay attention to the front of the line then the children in the back of the line act up and if you pay attention to the back of the line then the front of the line acts up. So it was definitely frustrating. This was a big challenge that I have tried to handle by relaxing and trying to talk to the class collectively about the type of behavior I expect out of them. I have still yet to overcome this class management challenge but hopefully by the end of the semester I will be a little bit better. My personal goals for the remainder of the semester is to not stress out so much when presenting my lessons and to take one problem at a time. I also make it my goal to manage the class better and to focus on higher order thinking skills to apply to my class.

Friday, September 5, 2008

#1 Reflection

Starting Quest 2 I am excited about finally being able to spend lots of time in the classroom with children. I am ready to do everything that I can to make this a positive and beneficial experience for myself. Every time I think of new questions that I have for my SBTE I write them down in my journal along with ideas that I would like to use in my future classroom. Even though I am excited I am also very overwhelmed and apprehensive about this semester because it just seems like there is so much to do. The "Professional Attributes" are all characteristics that have been enstilled in me from my parents and I feel comfortable in displaying them. I am very patient and cooperative and I find these to be my best traits. I don't think I will have trouble with any of the "Professional Atributes" really but there might be one that might give me a little trouble, and that would be oral communication. Yup I know it's ironic seeing as teachers need to have great oral communication and my oral communication isn't so great. I would love to improve my speech abilities. When I talk in front of groups of people I tend to get extremely self conscious and nervous to the point where my mind goes blank and I can't get any words out. It's kind of hard for me to think on my feet and to articulate my thoughts. Since I am going to be presenting lesson plans to a class full of children it will allow me to practice my speech skills and help me to actively think on my feet. I also hope to form my thoughts into words effectively for my students. Other goals that I have set for myself is to pick up on different ways to present information to students in a way that they will understand and to practice writing up all different kinds of lesson plans because I know when I become a teacher I will have to come up with lesson plans all the time. I hope to gain alot from this semester. I know it is up to me to make this experience worth while and that's exactly what I am going to do.