Yesterday was a bittersweet day as I attended my field placement for the last time. Although I will have more time to focus on my studies without this placement, I will miss it dearly. The field placement was not only good experience and hands-on learning in the classroom, but it was also a time that was used as a motivation toward my studies. I looked at my placement as a destination that if I put my mind to it will soon reach that point and be able to work in my own classroom. I am very pleased that I was given the opportunity to be in a classroom in my first year of university! I am now sure that this program is where I want to be.
The kids were sad to see my partner and I leave. Through these short seven weeks, we were able to make strong connections with most of the kids, so when it was time to say our final goodbyes we had a few kids in tears. I never realized how strong of connections we were making with the students until it came time to say goodbye one last time. Luckily both of our placement teachers said we could go and visit anytime we would like, so if I need some inspiration throughout my schooling I will be sure to contact the teachers.
Through this opportunity, I not only got experience in a classroom, but I have already begun taking key concepts from the placement. I think the biggest take away that I will use throughout the rest of my education and in my future classrooms is the concept of knowing your children as individuals and not as a class. When dealing with such a young age group it is more beneficial to focus on the student’s lives, personalities and well beings rather than focusing on the curriculum. Another key concept that I will bring with me is the sense of community throughout the classrooms and the school. It is very important to build a community with the parents of your students and understand their family dynamic to understand the individual child fully. I also need to understand that things are not always going to go the way I planned, so I need to be able to adapt to the changes that occur through my work day that will accommodate the students in the best way possible. These are the main concepts that I am going to keep, but there are many other concepts I will always think about as well. Some of these concepts include co-teaching, use of technology, movement in the classroom and class management.
I did not think I was going to learn so much in my first-year placement, but I have learned many valuable lessons that have shaped me as a person as well as shaped me as a future educator. I will remember my first placement as being an amazing school and I will remember the little grade ones and twos who ensured me that I was in the right field. I am beyond grateful to my placement teachers and am excited to see where my education will take me.