We have started our first week of pre-internship and it is very exciting…and exhausting! We are quickly learning how much planning and preparation it takes to be a teacher. We are learning so much from our co-operating teacher and from other teachers on staff. Today we spent our lunch hour at a staff meeting to discuss the new system of RAD. At Campbell we are using the RAD system to evaluate and assess student reading levels. Our teacher uses an online gradebook to record and keep track of her student progress, and this also allows for parents to track their child’s academic progress. I find evaluation the most difficult task thus far. How do I know what to assess and what to evaluate? How much evaluation is necessary? Weighting assignments is also a very difficult task for me. Our Co-op teacher has been very helpful to my partner and I in answering some of these questions and concerns we have thus far.
It has been so beneficial to look at other teacher’s rubrics as they all look a little different and focus on different aspects. In terms of adaptive dimensions my classroom needs very little adaptions. So far I have just been using some of the level one interventions throughout my lesson plans and adapting some of the assignments and time constraints. I have been getting the students to complete exit slips for the first couple of days and reading these has helped me see if the students understood the lesson or still have some difficulties or questions/concerns with the topic or lesson. Another form of assessment I have been experimenting with is the use of journals. I have daily writing prompts as well as different reading and writing responses that I have the students complete and hand in to me. I have really enjoyed reading these and it has helped me get to know the students on a much deeper level. Issues, fears or concerns they might not feel comfortable sharing in the class now has a opportunity and platform to be shared. I have been using these to assess my students’ prior understanding and knowledge about the topic of survival, the unit we have just begun.
As I have just began to get to know my students, I am not very familiar with all of their individual interests and learning needs. This is something that takes time and I hope that I can develop through the three week internship.
I am still working on developing my unit evaluations and rubrics, as this is a much bigger task and I need to put some more work into it. I am going to conference more with my co-op teacher and get some more support and resources for grade nine evaluations and expectations.
Our internship is just getting started and we have so much more work ahead of us. It is easy to get discouraged by all the lesson planning and assessing, but it has been a great experience thus far and I know these next couple of weeks will fly by.