My co-operating teacher had asked that for my first day I come a little early but I wasn’t able to because I have a class that ran into that time. For that reason, I went the week before to get a tour of the school and meet my teacher as well as the principal of the school. Both of these women were so welcoming and friendly which I really appreciated. This short hour was packed full of information and what to expect come Monday. My co-operating teacher also told me that I would be able to run a lesson later in the placement and asked if there was any other class I was interested in spending a day with. She is going to talk to the grade 7 and 8 teachers so that we can hopefully plan something one of the days. On Monday I got to the school right as the bell to come in from lunch recess was about to go so I went to my co-operating teacher’s classroom and waited for the students to come back in. When they did there was a few of them who came up and asked if I was also going to be a guest teacher as they had already met my partner. The first class in the afternoon was Phys Ed so we walked to the gym as soon as everyone was ready. A couple students stopped at the water fountain so I waited with them and they talked to me a bit.
In the Phys Ed class I worked with half the students at a time while the Phys Ed teacher was doing fitness testing with the others. I gave the students encouragement and gave them some examples to do when they had time to make up their own steps when running through the floor ladders. After all the fitness testing was done we played a game before walking back to the classroom. On the walk, our co-operating teacher told one of the students to walk with me and tell me about himself. He seemed kind of shy and didn’t talk a whole lot except for when I would ask him questions.
Next we had Social Studies where the students were learning about the difference between rural and urban communities. My co-op teacher told the students that I grew up on a farm and that I’d be able to help if they needed on the rural section of their venn diagrams comparing and contrasting these two types of communities. I walked around checking in on students who weren’t working and asking those who seemed stuck if they needed help. Some of the students talked through their thinking with me and brainstormed some ideas to put down. Once done the venn diagram they were to work on corrections and their teacher told me that I could go around checking if they were right. On the first girls assignment, I saw that the corrections were on geography which I haven’t studied since probably grade 9! I quickly thought to go back with the student to check what their booklet said, read the section that gave the answer, then asked her if it was right. She said yes and I said right and marked it correct. I kept doing similar things with the other students who needed their corrections checked because I hardly knew any of the correct answers! This let me talk through the students’ thinking with them though and they didn’t seem to question it or have any problem doing this so I think it worked out okay.
Next was recess and my co-operating teacher told two students to give me and my partner a tour of the school yard. The two boys got to talking to me and my partner had another boy from the class come up to her and start talking so we ended up slitting up. I spent the whole recess just walking around the playground with these boys. They showed me the playground and told me about what they usually do at recess as well as what the rest of their class and the other grades did too. At one point a group of the girls in my class came up to me as well and started talking to me about what they were doing and pointing out some of their siblings. Then they ran off again and the boys continued telling me about themselves and telling stories. Another girl from my class ran up to me later on and told me that there were some other kids doing things that they weren’t supposed to so I started to go over to tell them not to but another teacher made it there before I did. It was still good to see that the students saw me as being someone who could step in to make sure that the students weren’t doing things that could result in one of them getting hurt.
After recess was planner time so I went around checking for if they had done any reading last weekend and handed out “Star Bucks” to those who had. The Star Bucks are used for the students to show that they have done something good and they have a board where they keep track of them. While going around I also got to talk to more of the students and find out about some of their things they do after school.
The last class of the day was Health class. We started off reading a book about neurons. While we were reading the book one of the students had a nosebleed so the teacher showed me where the gloves were in case she would need help cleaning up at the sink. Her nosebleed stopped not too long after though and she managed on her own although the three of us were keeping an eye out and checking in on her. Then we talked about having a Growth Mindset and we made a pledge to keep one for the year. I loved the growth mindset because it really promotes positive thinking which I will also benefit from!
At the end of the day our co-operating teacher had the students line up and each tell us something they were thankful for that we did today for them. After school we had a meeting with our co-operating teacher and she told us that she does that with them a few times a week. Then we discussed how the day went and our teacher said she was impressed with how we were able to jump right into the classes and get along with the kids.
Overall it was a great first day!