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.