Describe a typical day of teaching at your placement. Share some highlights and challenges you witnessed and/or experienced. Consider interactions with students, teachers, and faculty, experiences in and out of the classroom, schedules, cultural differences, etc.
This is my last week at Colegio Menor. I absolutely loved this experience and I truly hope to come back here next year after I graduate from BC. Every day was a new challenge and I learned so much. The amount of resources and support that was available to teachers was incredible and I can only hope that every school I teach at in the future has this.
At the beginning of every day the students are required to be sitting on the rug in the back of the classroom with a book. Gaby, my CT, allows me to conduct the read aloud and go over book reports every morning. I love this time with my students because they want to listen to me and hear what was happening in the book. They also love to share what they are reading. One girl is currently reading the 1st Harry Potter book in English while I am reading it in Spanish. We try to compare the story to make sure nothing was left out in the translations. It’s a great activity for the two of us to share together! While on the rug the students are expected to read silently and try to focus in on their books. I feel like some of the students I have here are reading harder books than kids in their grade in the United States!
After our morning ritual, we then return to our desks and get straight to work. My favorite time of the day is when we teach Mathematics because Gaby allows me to teach the lesson every day that I am in school (Mondays and Tuesdays). I have never had this constant teaching experience while at home so I think my lesson planning is improving, which is great because I am doing my full practicum next semester! Every day in Math we have a multiplication quiz where I give the students a paper with 20 multiplication facts on it and they need to complete it in a minute. Most students are good at this while there are others that have a hard time completing it in the allotted time. I know there are some studies out there that say this is not a very good teaching method but I believe I will use this in my classroom. Multiplication is so useful in all types of Math so it would not be beneficial to ignore it.
Last week I taught a lesson on metric and standard conversions. The metric system is much easier than ours in the United States! The students could not understand why anyone would use the standard system when it was so confusing. It was a funny lesson to teach because the standard system seems like second nature to me so I never took the time to realize how confusing it might be to my students. To start off the lesson, I read a passage about a King who wanted his wife’s bed to be 8 feet long…but literally the size of his foot. The students thought it was funny and it was a great way to bring their attention to the idea that 1 foot = 12 inches, not the size of your foot since everyone’s feet are different sizes! This week I am teaching division and hope to not jumble my words and confuse them even more than they already are!
After Math we teach writing and different strategies they can use while trying to write a paper in English. It is difficult for my students because the mistakes they make are not common ones the students make in the U.S. but they are very common for Spanish speaking individuals. For instance, in Spanish if you want to say a “crazy person” the adjective comes after the noun, “persona loca.” This is difficult for the students to comprehend so they always write “The person crazy came to my house but would not leave.” This is an example of the hardships they face while learning two different languages.
The kids are actually creating a 10 page long magazine. They get to choose any topic they want but they need to include certain types of writing in it. For example, they write a biography, autobiography, advertisement, and nonfiction article. It was great to see them write in all these different genres because it showed me that they were capable of writing a great piece of work. Plus, their illustrations were wonderful. I hope in the future to create a magazine like this with my students.
After writing, it is my time to go home. My walk back to my University is about 20 minutes but the sights are beautiful! I really hope after graduation I will be given the chance to come back to Colegio Menor and work as a full-time teacher. I love this school and all it has to offer its students, teachers, and faculty!