How have you grown as a teacher from this experience so far (skills, understanding, or knowledge gained) (lesson planning, classroom management, demonstrations, etc…)?
I feel I have grown most at being able to manage the classroom. Being in a gym gives added difficulty to being able to manage behavior but after a routine set in, it became a lot easier. The students knew what we were doing and knew what was expected of them. The gym setting was really nice for what we were doing but it made the students extra antsy. Getting them to quiet down and listen was a struggle in the beginning but throughout the semester it got easier because I learned how to better get their attention and keep it in order to tell them the plan for that day.
What new understandings do you have about children/education/your role in the classroom?
I have new understandings about children’s attention span. I now know that having one thing planned for the entire time period isn’t the best choice because they will get bored and burnt out with what we are doing quickly. It is best to have a few activities planned that we can rotate between. I also learned that giving the students a choice in what to do for that day also makes them more excited to do it and more engaged in the activity. I also understand that not all the children will want to do the same thing so rotating between activities also gives everyone a chance to do something that they like.
Has this experience made you more confident as a teacher? What made you happy about teaching this semester? Are you finding joy in this experience? (describe/explain)
Yes, this experience has made me a much more confident teacher. Previously, I had not had any actually teaching experience and this has solidified that Early Childhood Education is something that I definitely want to do. Seeing how far we have come as a group is something that has made me happy about this semester. In the beginning the children didn’t know who I was and I didn’t know who they were but by the end I knew everyone’s names and they knew mine and we all bonded. On my last day they gave me a big group hug and told me how much they would miss me that this gave me a glimpse of how rewarding teaching really is. It felt so good to know that I was appreciated and that they would actually miss me. And I for sure am going to miss seeing all of them every week. This was such an amazing experience and I hope to do it next semester.