Besides the class learning how to read and count, I see the kids are learning so much more. Every week I have noticed that they have been learning how to be respectful which means listening, not interrupting, being kind, etc.
This was such an amazing experience and today was a very tough day knowing that this was my last visit at Regina Huda School, in the Kindergarten classroom. These kids have taught me a lot about relationship building. I never thought I was going to have such a great relationship with all of these kids. Visiting once a week, I thought was it was going to be tough to get the students to get comfortable around me and build a liking to me. But every visit our bond stuck and got stronger. In ECS 100 we talked about loving our students, in the most professional way of course, and I thought I would never love students. But I love the kindergarten class at Regina Huda School. I could not have asked for a better class.
I wanted to thank the class for making this experience for me so amazing. I made all of them gift bags filled with treats, a pencil, and an eraser. It was so heartwarming seeing their faces when I gave them their gift bags. I was so incredibly thankful and happy when the class presented a gift for myself. It was such an emotional day and I am going to miss those kids very much.
In the Kindergarten classroom, the kids are learning all the letters, how to count, and how to read. The teacher, Mrs. Kilback, came up with a task that makes reading for the kids fun and exciting. All the students got to colour a face to make it look like them then glued it on a mini popsicle stick, their names were then written on the stick. Every ten books they read, they move to the next hot air balloon. What a fun and creative way to learn! Observing this classroom, I learned how you can make teaching and learning, for the students, so much fun!
In ECS 100 we have been discussing inclusive education. We talked about how students with different disabilities should have the same opportunities and are starting to bring gender and sexual diversity into the discussion. This week’s reading, “Deepening the Discussion About Sexual Diversity in Saskatchewan” discusses the importance of acknowledging gender and sexual diversity.
The one thing I agree with the most, within in this reading, is a student’s motivation to learn is reflected off of the school’s environment. Students that get bullied for the way that they wish to be do not want to participate in school. School is a huge part of a person’s life and teachers have a big part of how that journey is going to go. Teachers need to be aware of gender and sexual diversity to create a safe environment for the students. A safe environment protects students from bullying, and helps with student’s engagement within the school and creates academic success.
This reading made me think of an experience I had with a student back when I was a teacher’s assistant. This student that I would work with time to time would always bring up that he is a boy so he has to go in the boy’s washroom and if he ever entered the girl’s washroom he would get in trouble. One day he told me that one day he was going to enter the girl’s washroom and when he does it will be okay for him to do so. He just stared at me and I can tell he was waiting for me to say something, he seemed scared. I told him that he should do whatever makes him happy. I told him some people might not agree with his decision and he should not let that bother him because those people will not be the ones living his life. At the end of the day he controls his life and he might as well create a life that will make him happy. After I said that I saw relief appear on his face. Looking back on it that was one of the first moments that made me realize I wanted to be a teacher.
One thing that will always puzzle me is why do people care? Why should it matter to others what a certain individual is doing with their life? It does not affect the way they live so why do they have to hurt others that are trying to better themselves? I am going to teach my future students the importance of acceptance and the importance of making your life the best life it can be whether that be to get a good paying job or to become someone they have not been their entire lives. This world has so many opportunities and we should not let people limit those opportunities. I am going to create a safe environment for ALL of my students starting with making sure they all feel safe and accepted by who they are.
The self-reflective process has now come to an end and now it is time to make a connection of all three selves, past, present, and future. All three of these phases are all connected in ways I have never thought of before. This was such a neat project and it is so fascinating how my past self and present self are connected and how I picture myself in the future is connected with both past and present me. There is certain aspect about myself that I see in all three selves and that is my determination.
In my past self, I see that I was a very competitive kid. I was a kid that would not let anyone just win and I would have to challenge them a bit, and even challenge myself to beat them. In my case, I see that having this trait has been good for me. My determination as a kid drove me to study hard and not just finish my work first before anyone else, but to prove to myself that I can finish first and finish it in an excellent way. Having this determination as child has shown me at a young age that if you want something, you can get if you work for it.
In my present self, I notice that somewhere along the way I have lost some confidence. Although looks do not matter it is healthy to love yourself, from the inside out. Although I am struggling through that low self-confidence, I am not letting that get to me. I may see a few flaws but I also see more good things about myself that makes me feel way better. Like my past, my determination is keeping me going. Although everything seems tough right now, I am not letting myself give up and I am continuing to prove to myself that this phase in my life is not impossible. Without my past self, I would never have the determination to keep pushing through like I have today.
As I look at my future self I see that the determination I have carried with me throughout my life has paid off. I made my goals and I am so excited about what I have succeeded. Although I have made my goals I still see my past and present selves, determination. I am still making myself goals in my career and am still determined to make a change in my students lives. As I reread this writing I see that I will never stop building goals for myself. Once I meet my goals I make new ones and I continuously make them more challenging.
Determination is a trait about myself that I am so proud to have. Having determination has and will help me in the past, present, and future. I will always be working hard on my goals and when I accomplish something, it feels so good to have gotten it. It was not just handed over to me, I worked hard for it and earned it. I want to end this project by thanking my past, present, and future selves for the trait of determination. I will always be working hard and will never give up when things get tough.
I am looking in the mirror and I see a tall female. I have long red hair and green eyes. There are a lot of flaws that I notice. I see that I have some acne and I do not have the body of a model. I understand that people do not see what I see but there are some parts of myself that I recognize that I just do not care for. But I take a step back and realize that it does not matter who I am on the outside but more so who I am on the inside. So who am I? I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a student, and so much more. I am a determined, independent, and strong individual. If I start to struggle in things, I do not let those things beat me. I beat them by continuous hard work. I look in the mirror and I see someone who is stressed. University is hard work but I am a person that will power through and prove to myself that I can do this. I am competitive, not just with others but with myself. I set myself a goal and I try to go beyond that. I see some of these traits as overworking myself but I also feel like I am making myself stronger. I see that I am scared and stressed out. Leaving home and leaving a regular routine is very different and intimidating. The transition of high school and university is very stressful and quite different. I am making friends and have been passing my classes. I am beating this bump in the road and I am so proud of myself to be almost done my first year of university. I am a person who wants to make a difference in the world. Although I am not a teacher yet, I see a great teacher in myself. I am a kind and reasonable person. If a person needs help in any way, I am willing to help that person with whatever it may be. I am loyal. I respect a person’s privacy and I understand how it feels when something personal comes out to everyone and how sad it makes a person feel. When a person tells me a secret I always keep it to myself. It does not matter how personal or professional it is, I will make sure to respect their privacy and I will take their trusting in me with pride. I am aware of my flaws but I will not let that determine who I am as a person. I am proud of who I am and I am so excited to see myself grow and see everything that I like about myself heighten.
The kindergarten students all have a chance to bring something to school for show and tell. I love the fact that they bring items from their home country and share it with their class! This is such a fun way for the kids to represent their culture and where they are from.
After leaving the Regina Huda School this week, I started thinking about how much I’m going to miss all of the kids. The bond between the students and I has gotten so strong throughout this field placement. It makes me so happy hearing how much the students enjoy my presence. Even though I am enrolled into secondary education, this experience has made me realize that I am not opposed to teaching younger grades.
The reading “Oh, Canada: Bridges and Barriers to Inclusion” written by Laura Sokal and Jennifer Katz has really made me realize what certain things in schools get overlooked. I have never noticed these problems and this reading has really made me aware of these issues and the importance of fixing them. As a future educator I will know what differences to make, to make my school environment equal and fair for everyone.
One thing in this reading that really stood out to me is how students with mental disabilities do not get the same opportunities as other students. I was a teacher’s assistant for a few different schools and I witnessed how each school dealt with students with mental disabilities and I never realized the wrongs and the rights until I read this reading. In the one school I worked with, all the students with mental disabilities were excluded from most things. The only time these students were included in the classroom were during arts ed and phys ed. For the most part, they would all sit at the same table in a tiny room. When I would work with the students there was not much work for them to do. They would do one work sheet on something that would take them about 10 minutes. For the rest of the hour they were all allowed to play games or do whatever they would like. First seeing this, I thought it was normal to have this routine for students with mental disabilities then I worked at another school and saw a whole different side to things – a better side. All students were together and all the students were doing the exact same work. Some students had a teacher’s assistant just in case they were having trouble or doing something they were not supposed to do.
Between these two schools I saw two completely different academic levels between the students with disabilities. The one school where the students got isolated were not very good at reading or with numbers to the point where they could not read a clock. The students had no social skills that they need to make new friends. At the school where all the students were together, the students with disabilities were academically on the same level and were able to communicate very well with other students.
For me, inclusive education is a must and must be happening in all schools. Through my experiences I see what inclusiveness creates and what happens when inclusiveness is not involved. Teachers have a lot of pressure because they are key to successful inclusion. I have learned that students with disabilities get isolated because most teacher do not know how to deal with them. This reading states that teachers are open to having more professional knowledge about inclusive teaching practices. If teachers are willing to gain more knowledge and are open to being trained, why are teachers not getting trained? Why is this something that is not getting better? I have seen what inclusiveness has done for all students and I am going to take my knowledge of this and make sure that all of my students have the same class opportunities as each other.
As I have mentioned in earlier blogs, I got placed in Regina Huda School. With this school there is a lack diversity, for it is an all Muslim school. It is very awesome how this school makes sure that the students get a chance to learn about their culture. Everyday the students say their prayer in Arabic, right in the morning and right before they eat. During the day the students will learn English, math, reading, etc. At the end of the day when the teacher has prep time another teacher comes in and teaches the students more about their culture, for example the Arabic language. Regina Huda School is doing an amazing job at respecting the different diversity and making sure the kids know who they are. This has been such an amazing experience and I have been learning so much from this school. It is good to see that it is possible to teach students their culture and have them learn about who they are.
I am starting my new job, fresh out of university! I am a teacher at Raymore school, the school that I attended, as a student, five years ago. Now I am the homeroom teacher for the grade twelves and get to teach my favourite subject, math, this is all so surreal! It is a little odd having some of my teachers, back when I was a student, be my coworkers now. They are all so supportive and very welcoming. They are all congratulating me on making it to where I am today. This is going to be an amazing first year! The first day of school is a little more emotional than I thought it was going to be. All of my goals that I have set four years ago are coming true and I am so grateful for this opportunity. Butterflies form in my stomach as I make my way to my classroom. My first very own classroom… wow. I walk in with a smile, I notice some familiar faces from when I was a student here, and now I am their teacher. I wish them all good morning and they say it back. A few of the students recognize me and a few have no idea who I am at all. For the first few minutes I let them ask questions about me so they have a chance to get to know me better. I get to know the students as well, we exchange smiles and laughs. They start to smile more and sit up straighter, are they are starting to like me? My heart is beating so fast, I can feel the smile on my face and it will not leave my face. What an amazing first day, it still does not seem real. I cannot wait for the school year to go on so I can meet my expectations I have made for myself, as a teacher. I will build a professional relationship with all my students and build a trust with them so if my students every need a guidance for their lives, they will know they can come to me. I will teach them that anything is possible, as long as you work for it. Throughout my four years of university I never thought I would make it to this point and now here I am, in my own classroom getting ready to go home and start another wonderful school day. This new level of happiness that I have reached today is amazing and that is something I want for all of my students.
I see that teachers understand that students have different ways of learning. Being in a kindergarten classroom, there is not much lessons for the kids to follow along to. Everything is mostly games including letters, numbers, words, rhymes, etc. What I have noticed is if a student in the classroom is struggling with something, the teacher is not opposed to spending some extra time helping the specific student with whatever they are struggling with.
Being a teacher is challenging and it is nice to have support from the students. It is the students listening, studying, participation, and hard work that keeps a teacher a going. During my visits I see amazing support from the students to their teacher and it makes for an amazing classroom environment.
Today the class was split into four stations, each station having something to do with rhyming, writing, or spelling. The teacher tries new games/strategies to help her learn what works best for each student so all students have a chance to learn in a way that works best for them. Trying new learning strategies is a great way to build your professional knowledge and that is something that I’ll carry with me and bring to my future classroom!!