A message of clarity…

Aha! Moment...

I was only able to spend one day with my students this week as there was no school on Monday and my co-op and I were off to the Internship Seminar from Wednesday-Friday. Although it was hard to leave the classroom I have so been enjoying, the seminar was an invaluable experience that lead me to several “Aha! moments.” Over the past three days I have been able to build a relationship with my cooperating teacher and establish common goals and expectations for my time in the school. I felt as if I was finally able to fit all of the puzzle pieces together and see the big picture. What a great feeling!

On Thursday we were able to sit down and create a contract, using a template from the university that outlined everything from where I should park, to what I will be teaching, to my role in extra-curricular activities. The contract will guide me through my internship and has already proved to be helpful in answering questions that both my cooperating teacher and myself have. For me, the most exciting part of creating the contract was deciding on what my main units will be during my full time block! I am excited to say that they will be……

Science: 5 Senses
Social: Environmental Harmony
ELA: Author Study (Leo Lionni)
Health: Healthy Snacking
Art: Dance
Math: TBA as we work through the Math Makes Sense Program

One thing that really shocked me through our dialogue activities this week, was how I came across when talking about classroom management. Without thinking whenever the topic came up, I would shudder or immediately name that to be my greatest weakness. Why? Well part of me thinks that because this topic is “shoved down our throats” by the university as a continual problem. So, I have come to view it as just that, a problem rather than a strategy. I also think that my gut response is negative because the majority of my schooling viewed classroom management as a quite classroom, and we simply do not see that in the field, and we shouldn’t see that in the field. Learning should be engaging, and hands on, and loud at times! My personal conflict appears to be that I have changed my option of what learning should/can look like, but my definition of successful classroom management has not caught up! Maybe I am better at classroom management than I thought. After-all, what’s more important students being engaged and on task, or students being quite?

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2 thoughts on “A message of clarity…

  1. Very interesting post Allie! And glad to see that you are back posting!

    I think that those “Aha” moments, or “moments of truth,” that we all experience are so often not recognized for the gift that they are. They really are defining moments, identifying our core values and belief systems. Good for you, for recognizing this, and for challenging the institutionalized beliefs that were being discussed in University. It would be so easy to accept those teachings, and to adopt the philosophy that you can’t do anything to change established “truths.” It takes courage to say, “Wait a minute! What is happening is not indicative of an ailing system.” You did a paradigm shift, and I applaud you for that! Enjoy your internship. May your classroom be filled with the sound of laughter and children excitedly engaged in the process of learning!

  2. Good reflection Allie!
    It sounds like you are really learning a lot even with only a few days in the classroom so far. I think you have touched on a lot of great concerns for all teachers. Classroom management is a really flexible ‘beast’ because every class, every school and every teacher has a different version of what is acceptable. The best thing you can do is figure out what works for you in your comfort level, but also to ‘read’ your students to ensure they are learning and not getting distracted and adapt whenever necessary, which I’m sure you are! For me, it almost changes every class period – sometimes even during one! You sound like you’re having fun and keep up the blogging! I love reading it!!

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