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Colette Monod

EDUC 357
Dr. Mbugua
Learning Log #4
Throughout my journey to becoming a teacher there have been many ups and
downs. As I reach the end of my days of being a student at the University of Scranton,
and look forward to my experience of student teaching, I reflect on all of the good and
bad that has brought me the knowledge that I now possess. This semester has truly been
an outstanding one, to say the least. The amount of knowledge I have gained through;
trial and error, my peers, my professors, and especially from my cooperating teacher, has
molded me into the inspired individual I am today. I am nothing short of blessed to have
had the experiences I have had.
This semester I had the pleasure of working with an extraordinary educator.
Going into this field experience I truly thought that I had what it took to be an
exceptionally good teacher, however reflecting back I was so naïve. The amount of
knowledge I have acquired this semester from my field experience alone is prodigious.
Reflecting back on all of the lessons I have taught during my field three
placement I think that I have done a good job in engaging the students and making
learning enjoyable. I have been able to get students engaged and excited about learning
by making the curriculum relatable and relevant to them. For example, in my lesson on
pollution and water conservation, the students were able to visualize the negative effects
people’s actions have on the water cycle. Each student played an interactive role in the
lesson, which displayed that everyone is responsible for pollution. I also felt that
instructing the students in a clear concise manner was one of my strong suits. Although I
was lucky enough to have a well-behaved class, I still stressed the importance of what I

expected from the students at all times. I never became lackadaisical with instruction so
in turn the students never became lackadaisical with following instruction, allowing
lessons to flow smoothly. One final aspect I felt I did a good job with in my lesson was
gaging student understanding. I used various methods to determine the students’ prior
knowledge on subject matters. One method I love to use is “stand if you know this term
and you think that you could teach it to the class, stay seated and put your hands on your
head if you have heard term before but you are not really sure what it means, and kneel if
you have never heard this term before.” I find it exceedingly important to have a clear
understanding of your students’ background knowledge on a subject to truly teach an
effective lesson.
Two things that I would have done differently throughout my field three
experience would have to be time management, as well as, follow up assessment. While I
was teaching my lesson having to deal with fact and opinion, we played a game of
jeopardy. During this game the students appeared to have grasped the concept of fact and
opinion fairly quickly, however I continued the game. It would have been more beneficial
to identify that the students had comprehended the subject matter and then moved on to
the next topic. As for follow up assessment, this would have been a bit more challenging
to execute because I was only an observer. Had I been a teacher in the classroom I would
constantly be checking my students’ comprehension at the end of the week on topics we
had learned at the beginning of the week. All and all the strongest piece of evidence that
showed me that learning was taking place was during my lesson on water conservation
and pollution. During the lesson one of the students took the question right out of my
mouth in the form of a statement. I was about to ask the class what affect pollution would

have on wildlife, but before I could get out the question a little boy exclaimed “ There is
no way fish could live in that water! They would die!” To me that was a truly proud
moment. To be able to see that I was molding the minds of young individuals makes all
of the countless hours of studying and examinations worthwhile.
Now that I have reflected on my teaching I would like to focus on my own
educational philosophy. I believe that learning should be an active process. Going along
with Jean Piaget, children’s thinking should develop through experience. . “Tell me and
I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand.” –Chinese
Proverb. Students need to be submerged in content that is relatable for them to achieve
any sort of comprehension. Another philosophy of mine is having students work together.
When students engage in-group activities, and pair-share methods, they are indirectly
transmitting knowledge to one another. Through Lev Vygotsky, I know that children need
peer interaction. Understanding through the perspective of their peers is one of the most
beneficial ways in which students can learn.
I have grown a tremendous amount as an educator through my two field
experiences PreK-1 and grades 2-4. My first placement was at Hildebrandt in a PreK
classroom. I was familiar with the younger children because I had worked at a camp and
a daycare most of my life. It was a comfortable environment to be in and I felt confident
because of the familiarity. I was not intimidated by the curriculum being taught because
the students were learning basic concepts such as: the alphabet, counting to 25, and,
writing their name. Not to mention there was allotted time for naps. Who doesn’t love a
nice break?

As I moved through the grade levels I still felt this sense of comfort. I

worked with a kindergarten class (Whittier) as well as a first grade class (Valley View),
and I felt pretty confident in these classroom environments, to say the least.
This semester is the semester I felt the most intimidated, the most out of place,
and at times even doubtful if I had what it took to be a successful teacher. Being placed in
a third grade classroom I was definitely out of my comfort zone. At first I felt intimidated
by the students. They were basically my height, and some of the curriculum they were
learning I had to reteach myself. My cooperating teacher also intimidated me because she
taught subject matters that I found most troubling with such ease. However, as I stated
earlier, I have learned more this semester than I ever dreamed possible. By being placed
out of my comfort zone I was forced to make the best of the situation and learn along the
way. With time I slowly realized that there was nothing to fear.
I use to only feel comfortable teaching younger children because, I myself ,still
felt like a child. However after this field experience in a third grade classroom with my
phenomenal cooperating teacher I have gained the confidence to teach any grade. I have
gained the insight that a teacher never stops improving or gaining knowledge, a simple
concept you might think. I suppose I knew this all along, but I never truly knew how it
felt to accept that it was okay to not have all of the answers. In the beginning of this
semester I felt as though I should know all of the answers, and I felt stupid for not. This is
why the third grade class and my cooperating teacher made me feel so intimidated.
However, now I beam with excitement and the same confidence I once had to embark on
my journey to teach any child of any age, or height!
Now that my field 3 experience is over I would consider my classroom
management skills to be my greatest strength. To think that something I once lacked is

now my strong suit truly amazes and inspires me. It just goes to show how much a good
teacher can do for a student. “A teacher effects eternity. One can never tell when his
influence stops.”-Henry Adams. My cooperating teacher this semester taught me the true
importance of good classroom management. Sure, we learn this at the University through
textbooks and courses, but it has little to no influence if you do not see it first hand for
yourself. My cooperating teacher stressed to me the importance of managing your class,
and shared with me wonderful insight and techniques on how to skillfully achieve
complete classroom management through various methods.
I would like to improve my methods of engaging all of my students. Teachers not
only have to think, they have to think about how students are thinking. I would like to
incorporate different methodologies to engage all types of learners in interactive and
effective ways. Through attending workshops and reading science-based research I hope
to improve my teaching methods.
My relationship with the students and my Mentor teacher during the 60 hours has
been an absolute delight. I leave the classroom feeling a sense of accomplishment. I
would like to think that I have left an imprint on my third grade class as well as my
mentor teacher, however it is unparalleled to the knowledge they have given me. They
have has filled my head with a lifetime of knowledge and my heart with a lifetime of
happiness and memories that I will be forever thankful for. Jefferson Elementary School
is a tremendous institution that facilitates the growth and learning of every student.
Teachers face many challenge on a day-to-day basis but having a strong team behind you
makes all the difference.

I believe that one question that should be asked of students completing Field 3
observations should be to reflect on why they want to be a teacher. I think it would be
beneficial to reflect from the time they decided to be an education major, till now. Why
they want to be a teacher after being exposed to the ups and downs teachers actually
encounter. What makes teaching your passion and lifelong dream? And if students do not
feel that way or have that passion, then why be in the education field at all?