How have you grown as a teacher from this experience so far (skills, understanding, or knowledge gained) (lesson planning, classroom management, demonstrations, etc…)?
I have grown in many ways throughout my experience as a teacher during my internship at the Dunn County Jail. I have gone out of my comfort zone taking on this internship because I have never been in a jail before. I found it very rewarding getting to know the students and watching them surprise me with their skills day after day. I gained knowledge of how to teach out of a classroom environment where the classroom is not designed for art related use. Most of all, I have had to use new strategies to keep the students engaged. Being in such a diverse setting where students range in age, race, skill level, experience, etc., I have learned how to use student choice as a major part within building my lessons in order to keep students engaged and excited about content and projects.
What new understandings do you have about children/education/your role in the classroom?
I have gained many new understandings from my experience in P.A.I.N.T. internship. I have gained understanding in education that my degree/ major has not only prepared me for teaching children within a school district but has also prepared me for teaching other individuals such as adults. I have learned that most people do enjoy and have a passion for art. This experience has taught me how to be a leader within the classroom even if I am not the oldest or smartest person in the room. I am very confident in the knowledge that the University of Wisconsin Stout has taught and prepared me with. Therefore, being in a position where age plays a possible negative role, I take pride in my knowledge to help the students grow and care about visual art. My experience is that if you give respect, you get respect. Being able to lead a class outside of the normal school age has been key in expanding my knowledge in what is teaching and education. Ultimately, it has given me an advantage as continuing to pursue education.
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)
This experience has made me much more confident as a teacher because I have been placed so far outside of my comfort zone. I have been able to target student learning for students at an older age than I am used to. I have been able to expand my classroom management skills, planning, time management, student engagement, and use of supplies given. The things that have made me most happy throughout my experience was making a little bit of difference in a student’s life. I was happy to hear some of the students say this was their favorite class or how much they looked forward to coming to class. Ultimately, working with these students to build goals and watching them succeed has been most rewarding to me as an educator.