Darin Janssen’s Weblog

Reflection for IPP

Reflection for final IPP – Dec. 7, 2009

1. What area of the IPP do you feel that you’ve had the most growth?

Although I think that I still need more practice in this area, I think that I have had the most growth in classroom management.  I have become better at transitions, time management, classroom awareness, and knowing what will or will not work with the students.

By telling the students the time they have for work to be done, warnings about when we will be changing activities, and trying to smoothly change from one activity to the next, my transitions have become better.

Time management was a problem not only at the beginning of the year but also the beginning of the block.  I was planning lessons which were too long or too short for the time available because what I thought the kids should be able to do was different than what they could accomplish in the time period.  I also am better at keeping track of the actual time, rather then teaching and having the bell ring on me without doing any sort of wrap up.

I am more aware of what is happening in the class when I am teaching.  I do not miss as much off task behavior or management problems as I did at the beginning of the year.

Now that I know the students better I can plan activities which are more likely to be successful.  I still have lessons which I think should work and they do not, but most of the time while I am planning I can decide certain things will not work with this group because of the dynamics of the group.  At the beginning I was planning stuff based on my pre-internship grade 4/5 class which was a very different class.

2. Was there something that surprised you about teaching during your internship?

There is never enough time during the day to accomplish everything that I either wanted to accomplish or had to accomplish.  I had ideas of what I would like to accomplish and explore in units and in the end was not able to accomplish it all because of time.  Either I did not have enough time or the students did not move through things or understand things as quickly as I thought they would.  I feel I have become better at knowing what can be accomplished in the time available, but I also have a long way to go.  I have to become better at focusing in on the key areas and teach them really well.

I knew that teaching and planning was a lot of work and time, but I can now see that until I have more experience and have some past experiences to pull ideas from, I think teaching will be more work than I initially thought.  Being new to teaching and not having files or previous experiences to pull ideas from, I am starting from scratch.  Everything either needs to be found, bought, or built and it is the finding, buying, or building which is time consuming.  It is not the lesson planning which takes the most time.

3. What are you most proud of yourself personally and professionally?

I am personally and professionally proud that I was able complete the internship without too many struggles or backwards steps.  I was worried about internship and most of my worries were based on the unknown.  The start of the year had so many unknowns for me that I was worrying about them.  I do not have any one thing that stands out to me as my proudest moment.  I am happy with how my internship has turned out.  If I had to do it all again there would be things that I would do differently.  I think that is a sign of a good professional, always thinking about how I could do things differently the next time.  I think that is why we have internship, to come out to a classroom and try things; some will work and some will not.  The whole point is to learn something from the experience and make adjustments for next time.  Some days I wish that I could do internship over so that I could do a better job of it.  Other days I think I have learned so much in my internship which will make me a better teacher that I do not want to do it over; I just want to move on to my own classroom where I can continue to learn from my students, my successes, and my mistakes.

4. What have you learned about students that is going to effect the way you teach?

I learned that all students and classrooms are different.  I taught in a grade 4/5 class last year for pre-internship and the two classes are totally different.  Every class is totally different; if some of the students in our class were changed, the entire class dynamics would change.

I really need to get to know every student as quickly as possible.  Every student is different and has different wants and needs.  Until I get to know what to say or do for a particular student, problems can develop with a student.  eg. We started out at the beginning of the year with a certain student who would cry a lot.  That student has not cried in quite a while because we now know more about how to talk and work with him.

Special needs students in the class require a lot of extra thinking and planning.  Some days it seems like this is not the best place for special needs students, but on other days I feel that it is.  I think that this is the right place for our student; with her friends and with students her own age, but I think she needs to have an aid full time.  She needs the aid to keep her on task so that she is accomplishing her goals and learning rather then sitting and colouring or disrupting others.

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December 28, 2009 - Posted by | Internship

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