You are on page 1of 5

Final Reflection

Looking back, I am not the same person that walked into class
on the first day of 302/303. I remember being asked to make a
lesson plan for Zoo School and attempting to fill in the different
parts of the outline sheet. I had not idea how much thought and
effort goes into every action in a lesson plan. I was still in the
mindset of a student who was quite ignorant of the changes to my
thought process that would happen when switching roles from
student to teacher.
I was incredibly blessed by my mentor teacher, my professors,
and my classmates. I was in a learning environment that stretched
me, encouraged me, pushed me, and helped me grow. I could truly
count on feedback that would improve my teaching without being
judged for my learning process. We asked tough questions that I
constantly struggled with and am still wrestling over, such as what it
means to be an image bearer of God and how that shapes the way
we teach. My teacher mentor was so patient, kind, and very willing
to share her wisdom that she gained from teaching over the years.
Her heart for teaching and for her students was an inspiration for
my own teaching and reminded me of why I wanted to be a teacher.
As a whole, I think that my unit went very well. We covered
many types of lines, angles, triangles, polygons, and quadrilaterals.
We worked with rulers, geoboards, cameras, shape patterns, and
computer programs. Each lesson had new skills, concepts, and
vocabulary words to learn. It was a difficult task to teach 24 new
geometric terms and ask the students to apply them in four lessons,
one project day, and one review session. I understand that getting
homework on top of all their Chinese homework was not practical,
but it made it harder to catch kids up who missed lessons or to give
them confidence through practice. The way to learn how ride a bike,
is to practice riding a bike. I dont think that homework should
consume the time of a 3rd grader, but I think that it would add
motivation to work on it during class, if they had to bring it home

and use their time, if they couldnt focus during the time to work on
it in class. Accountability, I learned, is very important when students
are learning how to work independently. This struggle helped me
understand the time crunch that my mentor teacher experiences
every day. There isnt time for sitting around or time for students to
zone out. Thus, it is vital that every lesson is engaging and uses
every minute wisely.
Treating my students as image bearers greatly affected the
way I taught my unit. Math being taught as a set of rules and tricks
to be copied is one that a teacher shows their great knowledge
and just pours information into students. Oaks, Lipton, Anderson,
and Stillman would call it factory teaching (p. 227-228). Instead, I
wanted the students to learn through reasoning, problem solving,
and learning because they want to understand how the world
around them works. Since I love math, it was strange to see the fear
of math in some of my students. No matter how many activities we
did that encouraged a diversity of answers, many still came running
up to me to see if it was the right answer before adding their
geoboard picture to the rest on the board. Once a student is in the
habit of just trying find the right answer from the teacher with all
the math facts, it is hard to replace that thinking with reasoning,
problem solving, and the joy of learning through failure. Even
though it looked great in my head, building a community that
everyone feels open to make math mistakes, takes a lot longer than
five lessons.
I also worked on treating my students as image bearers by
providing justice in the classroom. Everyone student is a creation of
God, whom He created in His own image (Genisis 1). God created a
diversity of people, which makes a beautiful harmony of gifts and
talents in a classroom. Everyone learns differently. Because of this, I
taught with UDL (universal design for learning) in mind. I made sure
that my lessons included multiple means of representation,
expression, and engagement. Different forms of representation

included using the ELMO, white board, videos, computer (study


jams), and highlighted terms in the book. Different forms of
expression included warm ups, problem solving with rulers,
geoboards, taking pictures in a shapes treasure hunt, and creating a
card. Discussions, group work, self-work, and self assessing to set
goals were all a part of the multiple means of engagement. It was
amazing of how much fun it was to teach and learn along side of my
students.
That diversity of students also includes those who have
different needs. The needs varied: attention, processing, sensory,
language, and not being pushed. This included making space, giving
shapes, making a word wall, giving weighted snake, and giving a
word sheet for the test to take away the spelling anxiety. I had to
accommodate the needs and tried to meet each student where they
were at. The whole class normally learns math in Chinese, so I had
to shape my lesson that used vocabulary actively, but always had
the support of a word wall. It would be unjust to look over the
accommodations needed.
Overall, I believe my students learned a lot over the span of
five days. Even though I was missing two students, who normally do
very well, my class average increased from their pre-test to the final
test. Less than 10 of my students could draw 4 or more of the 24
vocabulary terms on my pretest. Most of my students only
attempted answering only two or three on the whole pre-test. Now,
the class average was 11.9 out of 15.

(14/15)
5

(13/15)
(12/15)

(11/15)

(10.5/15)
3

(10/15)
(7/15)

It might seem that the average was low, but only two students
went lower than a 10. Every student that got 14/15, got a different
question wrong. There wasnt one question that everyone struggled
with, but the students who got multiple questions wrong tended to
not read the whole question or forgot to use the support given to
them. I was quite saddened when multiple students didnt get what
shape a stop sign was, since we used the example all unit long,
went over it right before they took the test, provided a picture on
the test, and it was tested through multiple choice. However, when
looking at how far my students have come from the beginning of the
unit until now, I am very proud of them. I am going to attach their
test to their pre-test to show them how much they have grown. I
want them to be proud of their learning. It is much like how I am
reflecting on my semester. I have learned so much that I can see a
lot of what I havent gotten yet. This sometimes can be very
discouraging, because I want to be there. However, looking back to
my lesson that I created on the first day of class, I can see how
really far I have come. I can be proud of my accomplishments, and
know that I still have more to learn.
My unit may have been a large portion of my semester, but
my favorite part was getting to know my students. Each child has

their own set of gifts and experience that I got to see beautifully
coming together to form a community. I wouldnt have asked for a
single student to be replaced with someone else. I was extremely
blessed to get to know each of them and I will miss them. It gives
me a tiny glimpse of how hard it must be to have the class for a full
year and then let them go.