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Ashley Roman

Professor Suk

EDUC 230-01 Education Field Experience

Spring 2017

The First Day

My alarm wakes me from my slumber early in the morning. My cat proceeds to hop onto

my bed, wanting her breakfast too. I gaze into her eyes and tell her, This is a new journey

today. With excitement, I eagerly get prepared to for this opportunity. Within a glance of the

clock, forty-five minutes has passed. It is time to leave. I hop into my car and make the trek up to

my field placement. Within forty-five minutes, I have traveled deep into New Jersey into an area

I know very little about. I gather myself after I park the car. Here I am. I stare at the building. A

small piece comprised of brick, yet so overwhelming at the same time. I head in and am greeted

by the security guard. I have to remind myself that one step above being nervous is excitement.

The security guard escorts me to the classroom. I have already met my cooperating

teacher previously, we greet each other and discuss the day ahead. I will be observing three

English courses as well as one prep module. My day soon begins as the bell rings.When the bell

rings, music then plays over the intercom. While this initially puzzles me, I find it to make the

school I am in more unique. The first group of students I will be observing are seniors in high

school. Only a few take notice of the new person in their classroom, me. One person greets me.

I soon realize through the classes that much of them are the same in terms of instructional

methods used. To me, it is a generic classroom, but one in which the students are comfortable

with each other and the teacher. It most certainly makes the difference to see students engaged

and actively participating in their class.


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Aside from the instructional methods, I also take notice that each class has its own energy

and motivation level. The seniors take charge in their first module class. They are willing to

answer and ask questions, share stories relevant to instruction, and also use humor. On the other

hand, the juniors were less engaged and motivated. Few students were willing to participate. This

class was also more rowdy and rambunctious. Between the seniors and juniors, I have come to

realize that a teachers job changes with each group of students.

It was evident that classroom freedom and control are earned through trust. Whereas the

seniors were on topic and motivated to learn, the juniors were chaotic and less willing to work.

To reflect this, the teacher was willing to let the seniors have a significant amount of freedom

and responsibility within the walls of the classroom. As for the juniors, they faced a stricter tone

and added structures that were necessary to keep them on topic and working.

When I reflected on my experience of the first day, I came to realize two odd parts. First,

a teacher must adjust their own views and actions in order to reflect how the students will

perform. Second, I walked into the building a bit nervous; however, as soon as I entered the

classroom, that feeling was overcome quickly with excitement. It is that feeling that tells me I am

definitely heading down the right career path.

Overall Experience Blog

As I reflect upon the first day to the last day, I must say that I have gained an immense

amount of useful information. Initially I walked in timid; everyone has that right to be afraid for

new experiences. But, as my horseback riding instructor always taught me, Keep your eyes

forward to keep your horse moving in the right direction. I took her advice for my life. I kept

going and never once looked back.


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My field placement taught me where I want to be in the future. I want to teach to children

at the high school level. Preferably I want to teach mathematics to those with behavioral

problems. For those who act out in class, I feel there is inadequate help in most cases. My field

placement took charge in this perspective. Students who needed small course settings to help

them learn were provided such environments.

When I think back upon the classroom environment, I already have a set in stone model. I

want my classroom to hold aesthetic pieces of artwork from projects of students. I want students

to feel their classroom equally belongs to them as it does to the teacher. My cooperating teacher

hung pieces of artwork from the students projects. It certainly adds to the environment. All are

welcome and deserving to have their project on the wall.

There was one tidbit that bothered me each day I went into my service learning

placement. A sign outside the door read, Please no food or drink. I immediately thought this

would be a strict classroom rule. Contrary to that, students were allowed to eat breakfast, have

coffee, and eat and drink at their leisure. I would think breaking such a rule would provoke

students to feel that they can get away with more. Whether or not they do, I still hold my wonder

regarding classroom rules versus what actually happens.

It was bittersweet to leave my field placement on my last day. It was the feeling a child

gets when they have to leave an awesome birthday party; you never want to leave or let it end.

Unfortunately, all good things in life come to an end, but they do so to make way for new

experiences. My field placement shaped me into a better person. It also provided me the

necessary means to open up myself to the world of teaching. I will forever be indebted to my

field placement and cooperating teacher.


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Technology in the Classroom Blog


Perhaps I am old-school in the sense that as a person and student, I much prefer the

traditional pen and paper methods over technology. In my time at my service placement,

however, it became quite evident that technology is infused in all aspects of teaching. From the

daily do now to group projects to studying methods, technology never fails to sleep with one

exception.

How does one test students on a computer or cell phone? Certainly if one could use

technology then the ability to wander and find answers is bound to happen. My cooperating

English teacher chose to go through with a paper and pencil route for any testing assessments.

From reading check quizzes to a Macbeth test, technology was avoided.

Of course, half of that exception to the rule is only true. Technology is used for testing,

but the teacher has the right to deny its use in their classroom. Technology is used for the

PARCC assessment, which has its advantages and disadvantages. For my English teacher, during

the junior class module, she was expected to inspect each chromebook and ensure it was working

properly for future standardized test use. While it is helpful that a chromebook is properly

working, the time it takes to check it is time that could have been utilized for instruction.

On the opposite spectrum of testing, technology was infused for group projects,

individual work, and vocabulary practice assignments. In terms of group projects, I was surprised

to see each group focused and willing to get their work done. When I went to high school, group

projects on chromebooks meant Tetris tournaments with friends. The students I observed most

certainly are diligent. Though I saw technology to benefit most, I found it a distraction to others.

Indeed technology proves useful, but harmful to learning as well. For a few select

students, the advantages of technology came at the price of their education. Whether or not the

youtube video was worth the watch following a do-now, students were missing out on learning.
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Aside from my cooperating teachers class, I observed another English class in which the teacher

took technology to a new level.

While the use of technology was prominent in his class, this teacher ensured his students

were fully aware and focused. Students had opportunities to use their Chromebooks for short do-

nows. Following any use of technology, students immediately were told to keep their

Chromebooks at half-mast or closed. I particularly found this method to be useful. Students

had their Chromebooks at the tip of the fingers to be used when needed, or closed when

unnecessary.

Where do I stand on technology? I believe technology is vital to the students of today.

After all, their lives are consumed by smart phones, touch screens, and Chromebooks. Through

my time in service learning, I have come to my own conclusion regarding technology. I know I

will use it in the classroom as will the students, but it will not consume or hinder learning. If it

should, adjustments will be made to ensure students keep track of their work as opposed to the

latest sale.

Blog on Senior Class

Senior year, a time in which the senior class if often misrepresented as checked out.

Though such a statement may prove true in a few cases, the senior class I observed was the most

energetic and eager group. Though learning was disrupted or placed back, learning still occurred

for this group. The senior class occurred at approximately 7:40 in the morning. I had expected

most students to be tired, but to my surprise, they were overly energetic. Students were willing to

participate, ask questions, and complete tasks. It was not just the energy that captured my

attention from the start, it was their respect for their teacher.
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All of the senior students respected their teacher. It was evident she had made a

welcoming and family environment for this group. Each time the class ended and the bell rang,

the students left saying, Bye Miss ___! I love you! The first time I heard this, I was caught off

guard. I soon caught on to the fact that the students thoroughly enjoyed the class that they were

in.

On another note, the seniors were distracted at times too. With prom weekend in the

future, it was bound to happen that a conversation would go off topic. In one particular instance,

it did. My cooperating teacher allowed the children to have a very brief discussion on prom

weekend before moving on. I questioned this for a long time. She is in the middle of a lesson, yet

let the class have a side conversation. I came to realize she purposefully did this. She knew her

students well enough to know that reigning them back to class would likely prove unsuccessful.

It is obvious that the seniors love their English class. They learn through stories, laughter,

and having fun, which is essential in the classroom environment and learning. Certainly not all

classes can be run in such a fashion. The seniors remained off topic at times, but overall they

completed their tasks and took away new knowledge. I think their style of learning was rather

unique.