First Week of Pre-Internship

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.

Week Seven Reflection

This week in ECS 410 we reflected on our case studies assignment. I found this assignment challenging as I have never done case studies before. The most difficult part of the assignment was trying to find research and resources to supplement my responses. It was hard to find where to locate these resources and also find research that pertains to the assessment response and to my English major. I think if we were to do this assignment again that going over ways to find professional resources would be beneficial to our success. I think this would save some frustration and confusion, and would help us improve our arguments as well.

In addition to talking about our case studies, we also participated in some great cooperative learning. We learned some new assessment strategies including Damien Cooper’s Eight Levels of Assessment. We split the two groups of ECS 410 and each group learned a different strategy, then we switched and learned from each other. This is much like the Jigsaw Strategy which is a super strategic way of dividing the course work. I really enjoyed interacting with the other section of the class and getting to teach a new concept to my classmates.We all really enjoyed these assessment resources and found them extremely useful and practical.

This week we are getting ready to embark on our pre-internship journey! This is both exciting and frightening! I have a lot of different concerns and anxieties heading into our first week of pre-internship. What will my co-op teacher be like? What will it be like to teach high school students? How will I get to know my students? How will I assess their knowledge? How will I observe and assess their behavior? I’m looking forward to answering some of these questions and learning a magnitude of things from my co-op teacher. I’m really looking forward to these first two days of observations to gain a deeper understanding of the school, as well as getting to know my students. I’m also very glad that we get to do these interships with a partner as walking into a high school classroom for the first time can be very daunting! I still feel very young to be a teacher to be completely honest, especially when my students are eighteen. It has been a relief though to get to communicate and share my anxieties and fears with classmates, as many of us are all feeling the exact same thing. I’m excited and nervous…. here we go!