As I did receive an email yesterday, stating that we are not allowed to share any information on the school or students of our practicum location, I have decided to delete all my previous blogs on my practicum. Now, just because I am not allowed to mention any students, does not mean I cannot reflect on my own learning.
Self-reflection is seen as one of the key factors in improving as a starting teacher. The only way I can improve that is by thinking about my own practices. Now, that the major bulk of teaching is over – as I do go back from 3 to 2 classes – I can say I have definitely learned a thing or two about myself as a teacher that I want to improve.
1. Plan Ahead
Plan ahead does require a lot of self-motivation. As I was cruising and going alright at the start of my practicum, I did not realise how far I was behind until it was too late. This resulted in me working weekends, late hours, early mornings and a lack of keeping up with my household – my washing has been drying outside for 4 days now.
I could make many excuses of why I did not plan as far ahead as I now find necessary, but I think it is better to learn from it and make sure it never happens again.
2. Students Are Not Scary
One of the things, I always feel a bit incompetent in are students with “learning disabilities”. I have noticed over my practicum that my worry of my effect on these students is bigger than the reality. I still think I can improve my effect by learning more about the difficulties – that is why I chose the unit on learning disabilities for next semester – but my experiences have been very positive so far. It seems that every student simply response to structure, clear instructions and repetitions.
3. Know Your Stuff
From the start of my studies, I have said that I am behind on my content knowledge. There are several factors why, but this practicum really showed how much I need to learn. When you know the material and you have made it your own, it will become easier to plan ahead, have different kind of activities for your students and give yourself a break every now and again. Now, I sometimes felt like I was just copying someone else’s work, without truly understanding what I was teaching. Therefore, I often stayed on the surface instead of digging deep into the material.
I still have 1,5 weeks to go and put these learning points to practice. I feel a bit sad that my practicum is over as I have enjoyed it so much despite the late nights, early mornings and no weekends. Luckily, I still have a few more classes to go through before I really say goodbye.