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Reflective Essay 1

Deanna Garcia
LBS 300
Reflective Essay
December 13, 2016

Reflective Essay

For my early fieldwork experience I was placed at Hawaiian Avenue Elementary school

in Wilmington, CA. I have currently worked at Hawaiian Avenue as a campus aide for the last

five years, so I am familiar with the school staff and campus. The school staff are friendly and

open to sharing their knowledge for being an effective teacher. My supervising teacher was Ms.

M Perez, a kindergarten teacher who is a highly regarded teacher within the school. While

working at Hawaiian Ave. I learned about the schools demographics, Ms. M Perezs classroom

management techniques and strategies, and reflected on my strengths and weaknesses as a future

teacher.

According to the School Accountability Report Hawaiian Avenue is within a

predominantly Hispanic community with 95.5% of students being hispanic or latino, and 2.6%

black or African American. The SARC report showed that 93.4% of students enrolled at

Hawaiian are economically disadvantaged and receive government assistance with housing,

food, medical care, and free or reduced school lunches. The STAR report for Hawaiian Avenue

showed that the three-year average API score was 830. The schoolwide test scores showed that in

English 18% of students were proficient, and that 44% of the students met the state average. For

math 26% of the students were proficient, and 33% of the students met the state average.

Overall, the test scores for Hawaiian Avenue were higher than other schools in the area, and their

students were successful in meeting California state standards. The STAR report also showed

that all of the teachers are credentialed and are qualified to teach their grade level.
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During my fieldwork experience I was able to understand the time structure of the

classroom. I learned that many of the class projects and assignments are done within increments

of 15 30 minutes. Ms. M Perez explained that she does this to hold the attention of the children,

and to avoid the students getting bored or distracted. If she sees the children are losing interest in

the lesson or assignment she changes up the curriculum to suit their needs. I also learned that

every school day is structured to give the children consistency throughout the week. Every day at

8:20 8:30 a.m. the students eat breakfast in the class, then from 8:40 9:10 a.m. the children

sing a song and recite the alphabet. The day continues with pre-determined timeslots for

activities such as math, writers workshop physical education, and reading.

The strategies that I will implement as a teacher will be the structured daily routine and

the peer discussions. I observed that the students responded positively when they knew the

routine of the day, and were able to look forward to what would happen next. I also liked how

Ms. M Perez allowed the students to talk while doing classwork. She used their peer discussions

to observe their conversations and was able to determine who needed help understanding the new

concepts. She would also ask students to help one another and explain their strategies to a peer.

Ms. M Perez would pull students and work with them in a small group if she saw that the needed

help understanding a concept.

While working in the classroom I found that my strength was my positive rapport with

the students. The students quickly gravitated towards me and were open to my suggestions and

guidance. The students followed my instructions and acknowledge that I was in charge. My

weakness was letting myself become overwhelmed with the students writing levels. There were

times when I worked with students who were far behind their peers in writing. I would become

overwhelmed and discouraged when teaching them concepts such as letter recognition. It was
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overwhelming when I realized how much work needed to be done to get most of the students up

to grade level. In the future to mitigate my pessimistic attitude I will seek guidance from an

established teacher. When I let Ms. M Perez know my concern she explained the methods she

used to bring students up to grade level. She works one on one with students, enrolls students

into the learning center, and asks parents to continue teaching their children on the weekend. Ms.

M Perez said the progress can be slow and overwhelming, but seeing a student master a new

concept, such as letter recognition, for the first time is very rewarding.

Overall, my fieldwork experience allowed me to see how a classroom can run effectively.

Ms. M Perez worked on her own without the assistance of an aide to teach her students. She has

spent many years perfecting her classroom strategies and management skills, which is apparent.

By working with Ms. M Perez I was able to take away techniques and strategies that I would use

in my own classroom one day, such as being strict with time management to create structure in

the classroom. I was also able to reflect on my strengths and weaknesses and ask Ms. M Perez

for assistance in mitigating my classroom concerns and fears. She always had a positive outlook

and solution to helping students achieve their learning goals. The biggest reward in the fieldwork

experience was seeing the progress students made over the last three months. Every student in

the classroom was able to learn a new concept and implement their learning into their

assignments.
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