Summer Learning Place

Practicum Experiences

First Days of Teaching!

on July 11, 2012

An empty 6th grade history classroom. That’s the first thing I observed about the stuffy area that would be my co-teacher’s and my instructional playground. I’ve always wondered what it would be like when I would FINALLY be the main authority in the classroom. While it has been great to begin implementing my own ideas and try new methods, it has been invaluable to have such a great co-teacher. As we designed our curriculum, very little would have been possible without Nicole’s expertise. With her in our classroom, I know that each student will receive the right amount of attention necessary for becoming more confident in the classroom.

When the students arrived, Nicole and I discovered very quickly that our students were chock full of personality. After introducing our science experiment for the week, “ecospheres,” the students were so excited about the prospect of keeping up with the fish’s environment within the coke bottles.  I was nervous about using this experiment at first because I didn’t know how well it would be received and how much the students would know about this type of experiment because so many science programs have been cut in Greenville County. I’m now very much for the concept of having a project-based curriculum after discovering the students know and retain much more when there is a central theme. I have been continually AMAZED at the depth of knowledge in the students’ observations and predictions that only occurred from their senses and reasoning.

Having observed how well the students communicated their ideas and observations orally, I was surprised at the students’ inability to relate this intelligence in their reading and writing. I am currently very overwhelmed by the amount of work I feel is necessary to appropriately meet the WIDE range of needs of the 7 students Nicole and I are responsible for. With limited time and resources, Nicole and I continue to brainstorm new ways to accommodate our classroom for our students. I have been so thankful for her calm reassurance and I think it positively effects our students, regardless of the activity. While I am finding each day to be more daunting, I am encouraged by my co-teacher and incredible students.



4 responses to “First Days of Teaching!

  1. Pat says:

    Excellent post! I agree that project based learning really works. I loved your science experiment! I think it was as much fun for all of us adults to see this as much as your students.

  2. nicole says:

    Leane this is a wonderful post. I am glad I was not the only one feeling overwhelmed in our classroom. I am so glad we can lean on each other to make it through this experience!

  3. Cathy Self says:

    I do envy you working with a special ed teacher. 🙂 There is so much we can learn from each other know matter what are teaching experience. But, teaching with someone who has already experienced this in their own classroom is a wealth of knowledge to pull from. Enjoy and excellent job of your first week!! You are doing amazing things in there!

  4. Molly says:

    Excellent first post for your blog. I am impressed that you have included pictures.

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