Hey guys, welcome to my last R2P post. This has been a long road and in this post we will be reflecting on how we got here.
As you all know, for the past couple months we have been observing in Headstart classrooms. I’ve learned a lot of things, some positive and some negative. I’ve learned how to discipline and redirect kids in a way that isn’t angry. I’ve learned that you can tell them what they’ve done wrong and that they’ve made you sad or angry without raising your voice at them. I can certainly retain this for my future teaching positions, and I’ve even implemented it in my current job. If I ever have this experience again, I would definitely create a lesson plan to implement in the class, and I might actually do so for the last day of placement in two weeks if the head teacher is okay with it. This experience has reaffirmed my belief that I will not be teaching in a daycare setting once I graduate. Honestly I work in one now and I love it but when it comes to having my degree and being the teacher in charge, I want to be teaching kids that can learn things that are way more complicated than the ABCs and their colors. By far the best thing that I’ve observed throughout my whole placement is the focus on books in this classroom. I even did a whole R2P post on this very topic: https://anchor.fm/dashboard/episode/e6e89t.
As soon as I witnessed all of the reading in my Headstart classroom, I knew that I wanted to write about it. The one issue with that post was that I didn’t actually pose a question. I just stated a bunch of observations, anecdotes from my childhood, and research. I could’ve said something as simple as, “Does reading to children every day help their development?” but I was so focused on my observations that I honestly just forgot about the question part of it. When we did our group post about the IRP we also almost forgot a question. My group was planning our activities out in class and we knew that we wanted to talk about the four seasons, but we realized that we didn’t have a legitimate question. Once we came up with our question, we had to change some activities because we realized that they didn’t quite align with it. When it was time for the last individual R2P post, I had this question thing totally covered. I wrote about the use of colorful positive reminders in the classroom. I wanted to know if it was helpful at all to a student’s development. (https://blogs.millersville.edu/kyra/2019/11/14/oozing-off-the-walls-but-does-it-matter/)
I’ve known how to use the database for a few years now, so I felt like that was pretty simple. I definitely liked that Tatiana made a video about it for us though because I know that not everyone knows how to use it. The issue that I had was that I am not great at knowing how to read scholarly articles. I find them hard to understand. I remember watching a video (although I can’t remember if it was for this class or not) that taught about how to read a scholarly article. It talked about reading the abstract first and where to continue to if the abstract interests you. I think I need to watch more videos like that to help teach me how to read these types of articles.
Two things were very difficult for me throughout this semester. One thing that was difficult was the fact that we observed the exact same time slot every single week. By the last few times it just got so repetitive that I was beginning to dread going there. I hated feeling that way, but I just wasn’t witnessing anything different. I wish that I could’ve witnessed another time slot at least once, but my work schedule didn’t allow that. The hardest thing for me was knowing when to step in and when to just observe. On the first day the other Millersville student and I were told that we could discipline the kids and the kids were told that they needed to treat us as a teacher and listen to us. However, as the weeks went by I began to learn that this wasn’t really true. If I told a child to sit out for misbehaving when we were outside, the teachers would stare at me as if I was stepping on their toes. I decided then that I would try to cut back on the comments I made in terms of discipline. I would tell the child what they did wrong, but I wouldn’t tell them to sit out. I had so much anxiety though. I was so worried that the teachers would still be upset with me for saying anything at all. However, sometimes when I would do nothing but observe, I would also feel anxious because I was worried that I wasn’t doing enough. I felt like I was taking up space in the classroom and not even helping the teacher at all.
I really enjoyed trying out all of the different technologies that were offered for this project. I used each one of them (podcast, blog, and Youtube video) at least once. However, I have two regrets. The first regret is that I only used a Youtube video for our group IRP post and we only did that because it seemed the easiest since it was a group project. If I did this project again I would do a Youtube video for one of my individual posts. My second regret is that I felt safe doing a blog so I stuck to that. I should’ve taken more risks so that I could become as confident in other technologies as I feel in blogging.
Answering questions for the future…
If you were to experience the R2P project again, what would you do differently? Please specify.
If I were to experience the R2P project again, I would just be more confident. I would do more videos instead of hiding behind a blog. I would ask the teachers in the classroom what they expected from me and if I had concerns I would be confident enough to speak up instead of just silently worrying to myself.
What are you taking away to your future teaching practice from this R2P project?
I’m taking away the knowledge that if I have a question about something happening in my classroom, I know how to research it. I’m also taking away the fact that it is okay to have questions about teaching, even if it is your own teaching. As a matter of fact, I think it’s great to question your own teaching because that’s how you grow and improve. I think the most important thing is that we need to reflect on our own teaching or else we will never learn anything new.
What advice would you give to the next ERCH496 students about the R2P project? What advice would you give to Tatiana for the next iteration of the R2P project?
Future ERCH 496 students, please don’t be lazy. That was my biggest problem during this project. I always waited until the night that the post was due to complete it. I was usually tired when I did these posts because I would do them after work and therefore didn’t put as much effort into them as I could’ve and should’ve. I promise that you will get so much more out of it if you try your best.
First of all, I would just like to say that Tatiana did an amazing job. I was so beyond impressed that she took on this project with us on top of her regular job in the library. I’m so thankful for her and how helpful she has been. Thank you, Tatiana. If I were to suggest one thing, it would be to offer future students an option to come up with their own technologies to use, even if it’s just for one post. For example, maybe somebody wants to branch out and try to create a post using Instagram. They could post a picture or two that relates to their topic and their post could be the caption. I think that would be a really cool way to expand the R2P project and it would allow future students to feel like they could add their own personal touch on it.
Thanks for reading my blog this semester everybody. I’m just going to leave you with this well wish;