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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Last Day at St. Vincent's

Today was my last day at St. Vincent’s. I was sad to leave them after such a wonderful semester. The kids sang me a song about Robins and I received a wonderful gift from the staff. Everyone at this placement has been outstanding and I will miss their kindness immensely. I’ll even miss the typical day to day procedures, which I will outline below.

I usually walk to the school from Cork City center and arrive at 9am. The students arrive shortly after and I help them get settled before we begin the day’s lessons. My teacher does many small group activities. I manage the groups as we go over spelling, writing, and reading. My CT integrates technology through lessons on a SMARTboard and recordings on her CD player. The students love hearing words first and then shouting them back. Next there is the daily special which is an arts and crafts project, science activity, sing, dance, or gym. I love going with the students to special because you can see a whole different side of their characters. After the special is lunch-time and recess. Following this is a block of language instruction. The senior infant day ends at 2 and I head home at 2:30. It’s a short day but each minute is packed with excitement and learning. During this time I interact with students, teachers, and even some parents.

Some challenges of this schedule are the transition moments. Most of the students do not have time to finish their whole lunch before recess begins so they walk outside with half a sandwich. Running around the playground with food in their mouth seems like a choking hazard to me, but its common practice here. As with any class, moving from one period to the next can be distracted and become a management issue. My CT handles this well, but getting up to leave the classroom for the special definitely ruins the last few minutes of class time because the students are so excited for dance or science. But besides these minor challenges, the day runs smoothly thanks to the great administration and staff that operates St. Vincent’s Primary School.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Robin. You have mentioned before in your previous posts that the curriculum in Ireland allows more time spent on creative arts. Since the school day is only 5 hours long, and that also includes creative arts, do you think the allotted time for the academic subjects is sufficient enough for the senior infants?

    In one of my pre-practicums, I worked with 5-6 year olds, K2 students. Their school day was from 7:30am to 2:15 pm, 6.75 hours, with only 40 minutes devoted to creative arts, 20 minutes for lunch, and 10 minutes for snack time. The rest is for math, reading, and writing. They are certainly working more on academic subjects.

    How important do you think creative arts is to a curriculum? Also, what differences did you notice about the attitudes of the students' about school of those in St. Vincent's compared to your previous pre-practicums in the States?


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