As the semester comes to an end, so does my experience with this Research to Practice project. I have learned a lot about observation, questions, research, reflection and technology throughout this project. So now, let’s take a look back to some of my blog posts so we can experience the growth that was made as the semester progressed!
As you know, throughout this semester I have been in a Head Start program. Every Tuesday I have had the privilege of making observations in the classroom that have been meaningful to what I have learned about child development. Through these observations in the Pre-K room I have been able to make a lot of connections to textbook readings and content that I have learned throughout many of my education courses at Millersville University. Although I have learned that a career in Pre-K is definitely not for me, it was interesting to observe what goes on prior to Kindergarten to prepare these eager young learners.
The theme that guided my questions throughout this Research to Practice Project has been based on relationships. That is, the relationships between the students, the teacher and students, the students and their parents and the parents and the teacher. I questioned the how meaningful the interaction between teachers and students are and the value of parental involvement. These relationships are so valuable in education because education is a partnership among students, parents and teachers. My observations in this Head Start program guided my questions and strengthened my philosophy on the value of relationships.
The questions I asked were meaningful to my educational philosophy so seeking research to support my thoughts and answer my questions was much easier than I had expected it to be. I typically dread research but my view on research has expanded and changed throughout this assignment. The research that I was finding was engaging and added an extra layer to my own thoughts. It was empowering to find research that supported my views and to incorporate this into my posts.
I am constantly reflecting on my work, what I could do better and what I did well with. Although, I tend to focus more on what I could have done better. This project has been a challenge, but it is very rewarding to look back and see how I found my voice through thevarious blog posts that I did. I am excited that I successfully stuck to a theme to guide my questions and help me to grow and expand my educational philosophy.
From the moment that I learned about the Research to Practice assignment, I knew that I would be most successful with creating blog posts. I have always loved reading and writing so this was the perfect opportunity to use these skills to relay information about my observations and questions throughout my field experience. I had never written a blog post before, but I was eager to learn, and I feel very accomplished with the skills that I gained and the voice that I found throughout my different posts.
If you were to experience the R2P project again, what would you do differently?
If I were to experience the R2P project again, I would have maybe pushed myself to try a different platform. Although I am so pleased with the consistency of my blog posts, I wish I had branched out to try a video. I love writing and reading so a blog post felt like the perfect fit for me but as I thought about this question, I considered how education is constantly evolving and more often teachers are posting video messages for their students and parents. This assignment could have been a safe way for me to branch out of my comfort zone and experience creating a video post or other platforms that will be useful as a future educator.
What are you taking away to your future teaching practice from this R2P project?
The most valuable thing that I am taking away from this R2P project to my future teaching practice would be the value of observation, questioning and reflection. These skills are so useful as an educator because we should constantly be making observations in our room, questioning the different practices that can be useful to teaching our students, and finally reflecting on the strengths and needs of our teaching practices.
What advice would you give to the next ERCH496 students about the R2P project?
The advice that I would give to future ERCH 496 students would be to take risks and not be afraid to begin this project! Begin the assignments early and to really value the observations that are made in field placement to guide the questions for this project. This project is so unique because every future educator has the ability to select their own questions that are meaningful to them, so I would also suggest seeking meaningful questions to help you expand your educational philosophy.
What advice would you give to Tatiana for the next iteration of the R2P project?
The advice that I would give to Tatiana in the future would be to require the research consultation earlier in the semester. I feel that her expertise could have been even more useful if I had met with her individually after my first or second post. I was thankful for the advice and examples that she provided the entire class during the sessions that she joined on Thursdays. I appreciated the amount of work that she put into this assignment, it was refreshing to have a project that could be unique and guided by our own questions and research rather than the traditional responding to a specific rubric!