Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Welcome to Grade.... 5??

   Today I heard back from my cooperating teacher who will be having me in his classroom this upcoming March for eight weeks (I had sent him an email introducing myself last week.) He seemed very enthusiastic and supportive, from what I could tell from his email!

The big surprise to me, however, was that he taught Grade 5! As some of you know, I am in the senior years stream and my last student teaching placement was with Grades 10, 11, and 12. I'll admit, at the start I was pretty apprehensive. My mind was racing: "Can they all read?", "Can they all write?", "I can remember how my classes were set up when I was in high school but I remember nothing from elementary!", etc.
    After a few deep breathes, however, I regained my composure and really began thinking about it. I think Grade 5 will be awesome! In the professional aspect, a placement outside of my focus will give me more experience and could be seen as a positive thing to future employers. I will definitely see it as a positive experience! On a personal side, I tend to think that in Grade 5 students may tend to "enjoy" school more than a Grade 12 student who is ready to start university/college/work or any number of other things. Is this a correct assumption or a generalization?

    Another BIG positive is that I may be able to use whole brain teaching with them! (I haven't talked to my cooperating teacher about it yet). I hear again and again in the WBT community about how much early years students love WBT (although my Grade 10's loved it just as much!) I am excited to see the difference between the Grade 10's that I used WBT with in the fall and the Grade 5's. I am thinking that it may be easier to incorporate with younger years because you don't have to spend as much time getting them to "buy into" the idea as you do with senior years. But again, this could be a generalization.
    All in all, I think that it will be a great learning opportunity and I can't wait to start! :)


  1. It's odd that you're being asked to teach a very different grade to what you usually teach- where I live, I'm pretty sure that student teachers have to do their practicals in the grades (i.e. primary or secondary school) and subject that they're majoring in. On the other hand, it might be a good thing as it will give you more experience across the board.

    As for year 5s enjoying school more than year 12s, I'm rather sceptical. Where I live, years 4-7 are already starting to get tired of school, while in year 11 and 12 there's more of a motivation to succeed. (However, it's worth nothing that in my country attending regular schools is only compulsory up to year 10, so students in years 11 and 12 are those who are really academically-inclined.)

    I'm finding reading your blog rather interesting, as I usually read Kid Friendly Schools which has a different perspective on Whole Brain Teaching. It's interesting to see both sides of the argument. Personally, I think that if I was a student in a WBT classroom, I would get rather tired of it if it was all day long (being introverted doesn't help) but I might be okay with it if it was in short spurts. I'm the sort of person who needs a lot of time to reflect and ponder, and I don't think that full-on WBT would provide the time for that.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Hienuri! It is awesome to hear from people in countries other than Canada (where most of my readers are from), do you mind if I ask what country you live in?

    One thing I don't think I communicated in the post is that we are encouraged to do placements outside of our specialty area. As you mentioned, it gives us more experience across the board in will make us more well-rounded as teachers. It is interesting that students in your country do not have to attend school through Grade 12, that would certainly create a different dynamic than the classrooms here (in regards to how students felt about education and attending class). I would love to do some research on how different educational mandates affect student's perception on their education. I think it would be very interesting to see what their perceptions are and what teachers can do to encourage them.

    I will admit that I have met some people that are VERY passionate about WBT and some that are VERY anti-WBT. Not saying that you nor I are either of these but I enjoy getting both view points on the strategy! As a teacher, I consider myself a continual learning and one of the best ways to educate yourself is to view information from different view pints so I really appreciate the opportunity some of these comments are presenting! I commented on your other post as well if you would like to see some of my critiques (I think it addresses some of the issues you mention in this post as well).

    I hope you continue to read both posts as I love reading the comments :)


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