Student: Olivia Goodstadt, Grade 11 Placement: Anne J. MacArthur Public School, Grade 1 Classroom
During my Grade 1 placement, I am responsible for working one on one with certain students who need assistance, conducting small group activities, leading the morning meetings and circulating around the classroom during independent work time for extra assistance. When I am not busy with the tasks directly involving the students, I also do several things around the classroom to prepare for upcoming lessons and maintain organization, such as photocopying worksheets, marking student work, updating the word wall, creating seating charts and using the laminator.
One of the most important skills that I have learned during my time at Anne J MacArthur is the importance of building relationships with the students and getting to know each student individually. This is so important for creating and fostering a caring classroom community. Additionally, I have been able to significantly improve my classroom management skills using several different tricks and strategies to help. This is very important in maintaining a calm and organized classroom. Finally, my placement has allowed me to continue developing my problem solving and adaptability skills. The majority of the time in a grade 1 classroom can be very unpredictable, so it is important to be able to adapt to any situation.
My co-op experience has taught me so many valuable real-world lessons that I can apply to future jobs in education. I have learned so much about what it means to be a teacher and the work that it entails. It has also helped me to solidify my passion for becoming an elementary teacher and has confirmed that I definitely want to go into teaching after high school.