Amelia Walker

December 21, 2015

Written Summary: Working in a Grade 4-5 French Immersion Class

Where did you work? What kind of business is it? What is the businesses history?
I was co-oping at Macphail Memorial Elementary School, a school that offers both
French Immersion and English classes. The business is education of children up to eighth grade.
Macphail Elementary is named after Agnes Macphail, the first woman to ever be elected to the
Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Agnes originated from Dundalk, Ontario, therefore as an
important member of Canadian history, the school was named after her.
What were your main responsibilities? What other tasks did you do?
My main responsibilities were to get the morning activity started, to help any students
and answer questions pertaining the subject of the activity. Then I would take up the activity and
the class would move on to the next topic. On Monday mornings it was my job to read and write
replies to all journal entries. I would administer spelling tests when scheduled, take them up,
mark them and record the marks. Other tasks that vary from what I would normally do included,
making short “trailers” of class projects the class had completed, doing bulletin board posters,
helping during art classes and much more.
Describe the work atmosphere. Did you enjoy it?
I loved the work atmosphere, Mr. Boyle and his class were absolutely amazing! The
students were always so enthusiastic and Mr. Boyle is a fantastic teacher as well as a supervisor.
He taught me important skills about teaching, such as the best methods to explain concepts using
both verbal instruction and tangible learning aids. I enjoyed re-learning concepts that I hadn’t
used since elementary school such as long division and pattering.
What were some of the stresses of the job?
I found trying to teach math was difficult, I struggle with math on a daily basis, almost all
mathematical concepts are lost on me. Having to learn and then teach these concepts was a
struggle. Especially since I haven’t had a French math class since grade 7, the vocabulary is very
different from the French vocabulary I use in my grammar classes. I worked through it, learning
the subject beforehand, and educating myself on the vocabulary I would need to use.
What did you like and dislike about the placement?
What I liked most was the class, and the energy they had. They are all such positive kids
and I love hearing their thoughts about the units we worked on. I also enjoyed teaching different
units, and helping pan out the lesson plans for the units, by having my input also included it
made me pay attention far more and better my education as well. The only thing I disliked was
my lack of confidence when teaching math, I was nervous to mess up or not be able to get the

idea across to everyone. Sometimes trying to help was frustrating because I couldn’t think of
another way to explain the concept.

Would you recommend this type of placement to others with similar interests?
Absolutely, I really expanded my French vocabulary, by teaching different subjects in
French I really learnt new words that I hadn’t had the chance to use in my classes before. Most of
my high school French classes focus on specific subjects, particularly grammar. Learning and
teaching outside my normal subjects really helped me expand my vocabulary and helped me
learn new school related and work related skills and knowledge. I would 100% suggest this to
any student in the French Immersion program, especially if they plan on using their French postsecondary.
Provide some insightful comments and conclusions about work and what you have learned
from your coop experience.
Working in a classroom definitely taught me that teaching is not easy, I could never be a
teacher. To be an elementary school teacher you are expected to be able to teach a variety of
different subjects, and this would be extremely difficult for someone such as myself who
struggles with math. The dedication and patience necessary is beyond my current skill set, as
much as I love teaching that class. However the expansion of my vocabulary will benefit me
greatly in my future post-secondary education and job.
Describe your future career plans and how you plan to attain you career goals.
My future career plan is to get my post-secondary education in flight services, as a
stewardess for Air Canada. As a bilingual Canadian speaking fluently in both French and English
I am placed at the top of hiring lists. During my two years of college I plan on taking Spanish
classes to give myself an extra step up, French and Spanish are extremely similar and if I can
become fluent in Spanish then my future career possibilities become more extensive. After
graduating from college I will apply to take Air Canadas seven week initial training program and
if I pass then I will proceed to be offered/ apply for jobs.
Discuss how this placement has helped to prepare you for your future world of work.
By practicing my French on a daily basis for the past four months, I have greatly
expanded my vocabulary and have developed more confidence in both my oral and written
grammar. Helping teach also pushes me to further my knowledge of the French language, I find
when there is a need to use a certain skill I try harder and work harder to make more use of that
skill and become better at it. When teaching different subjects you have to first teach yourself,
learn the subject, the proper grammar, the vocabulary and the proper tenses (future, subjunctive,
past and many others). You then learn it a second time while teaching that subject, the students
ask questions and sometimes to answer that question you have to do some research or apply your
current knowledge and think of a logical answer. By doing this I learnt that repletion is key to
remembering and learning new skills and knowledge, it helps both short term and long term.