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HD 450 Reflective Teaching

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This was one of the last classes that I took at PO, originally I was going
to be required to take a fieldwork class but due to changes made by the
school Reflective Teaching replaced that. I had mixed feelings going into this
class because I don’t exactly want to go into teaching. I’m more interested in
becoming a school psychologist. I told myself that field would still require me
to work closely with teachers so I tried to keep an open mind instead of
writing the class of as irrelevant to me.
Observations played a large role in the class, which was something
that I also had mixed feelings about since I had just taken a class dedicated
to the art of observing. I want to eventually work with adolescents so I
usually try to connect my class learning to that age group as much as
possible. I didn’t observe an adolescent classroom because the structure
required for our observations seemed more geared toward early childhood.
The required readings for the class were also geared toward early childhood
but they were still very informative with techniques that could be extended
to older age groups. The readings emphasized that observation was an
important tool for teachers that helps them understand their individual
students and their needs. Reflecting on your teaching techniques was also a
major theme in the readings. The readings also talked about the fact that
learning was mutual, students learn from their teachers as their teacher also
learn from them. I thought that was interesting because that was an idea
that was also brought up in the readings that I did in my adult learning class.

HD 450 Reflective Teaching

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Six observations were required for this class, which allowed me to
observe different teaching styles. I think that I observe through a Vygotskian
lens, I focused a lot on language and interactions and I referenced Vygotsky
the most through out my observation papers. I did one of my observations at
the Malabar library in a Boyle Heights, which is a low-income area with a
large Spanish speaking population. The story time program is made possible
by donations and volunteers. That observation reminded me of the
importance of having funding for these types of programs.
The rest of my observations were done at a childcare center in
Pasadena. I was surprised to see how the lead teacher in one of the classes
that I observed interacted with her students. I mostly heard her asking
closed ended questions and using vague language when giving children
directions. I watched the same teacher reading a book to her class, she was
not very expressive and kept her voice at one flat tone the whole time. In my
other observation at the Malabar Library the volunteer there was very
expressive utilizing gestures and varying the tone of her voice. She also
asked children open-ended questions that connected to the books they were
reading.
Funding is an important part in being able to provide a quality
educational program but the teachers are the ones that really make or break
a program. I was shocked when I observed the early primary teacher at the
Pasadena center, she didn’t seem to be following the same philosophies and
techniques that we had been learning about in our class. I wish that I could

HD 450 Reflective Teaching

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have talked to that teacher more to understand her teaching style better but
I didn’t have the chance and she didn’t seem very friendly. I don’t think I saw
her smile once during the course of my observations. I also wondered if the
children under her care got the same impression that I did.
I think that the quality of my observations increased during the course
of this class. I definitely sharpened up my APA skills while doing the writings.
Much of the ideas that our readings covered were a review of things that I
had learned in past classes. I especially liked the two books, When Teachers
Reflect and Puzzling Moments because they weren’t textbooks. They were
written more like a journal accounting real life classroom experiences and
how the teacher faced them. I don’t work in a classroom but I might one day,
and if I do I will try to implement the key ideas that I learned in this class. I
will also keep in mind all of the classes that I’ve observed during the course
of my education as reminders of things to and not to do.