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Madelyn Noble

Professor

Vudrogovic
15 April 2016
Reflection Paper
Field Experience 2

For my second field experience, I was placed in a high school classroom at


Toronto Junior/Senior High School. I was able to observe Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and
two different Geometry classes. Because Toronto is a combined junior high and
senior high school, I had students ranging from grades 7-12, but most students
were 10-12 grade. Most of my duties included helping students in groups or working
with students one-on-one. I also taught lessons, made copies, and helped out my
cooperating teacher as she needed.
During this field experience, I felt much more confident than in my first field
experience. I was better at building personal relationships with students, and grew
in my ability to explain concepts to students in many different ways. I also got to
work with a student with autism. In addition, I gained more experience in motivating
students, delivering lessons, and classroom management.
Because this was my second field experience, I felt a lot more confident going
in to the classroom. I was able to take what I learned from my first field experience
and other diverse field experiences and apply it to this experience. I felt less afraid
to make mistakes, and more confident in what I was teaching. This made the
experience easier and more enjoyable because I was able to focus on the students
more than my own nerves.

Being more confident helped me in building personal relationships with the


students. One of my main goals for my second field experience was to get to know
the students more personally. Hopefully, by getting to know the students more
personally, they would understand that I cared about them and their learning. While
I did not get to know every student, I was able to get to know many of them. It
seemed to make those students more comfortable in asking me for help. In
particular, one student seemed to feel very comfortable talking to me, and I think it
was beneficial for her. She did not seem to feel supported at home, so I was glad
she had someone to talk to at school, even if only for a few minutes. Having
relationships with the students helped me to teach better, and seemed to help the
students learn better by knowing that I cared about them as people.
The way that my cooperating teacher ran her classroom gave me lots of
opportunities to work with students one-on-one. Often if a student was particularly
struggling in a class, my teacher would have me sit with the student and work on
problems one-on-one. Working with students individually taught me a lot of
patience and how to explain the same concept in many different ways. The main
difficulty that I encountered was a lack of basic arithmetic knowledge and
confidence. The students were glued to their calculators and were either unable or
not confident enough to perform basic addition, subtraction, and multiplication
problems. This made it very slow and difficult for students to learn more complex
concepts and operations. However, with patience and proper encouragement,
students were able to learn the new concepts well. I found that encouraging
students was crucial to their learning. Showing them where you saw their strengths
and weaknesses helped them to feel confident in their abilities, while realizing
exactly where they needed to improve.

One of the students I was able to work with one-on-one was a student who
was autistic. This student was very motivated, diligent, and intelligent. His main
difficulty was confidence and working quickly. Typically he understood the material
fine, but would need encouragement from me to verify that he was doing it
correctly. Sometimes, he would struggle with knowing what form to put an answer in
(i.e. a fraction or a decimal) and wasnt always satisfied with my answer. However,
my cooperating teacher had answer keys available for students to check their
answers, and those would usually put him at ease. After being encouraged, he
would be able to complete an assignment with little difficulty.
I also gained experience in motivating students, delivering lessons, and
classroom management. When delivering lessons, I felt more able to motivate
students, provide clear information, and gauge student understanding. I still ran into
issues, of course. I wasnt always loud enough. The markers on the board werent
always dark enough for students to see. There wasnt always enough time to
adequately practice what was learned in the lesson. Students were tired and
unmotivated even after my best attempts to persuade them of the importance of
what they are learning. However, even when my best attempts failed, students still
seemed to learn and my lessons were successful. I found that even when students
seemed like they werent paying attention, they often still picked up on information.
One of the most beneficial parts of my field experience was being able to
teach two different geometry classes. I was even able to use the Geometers
Sketchpad technology that I learned in one of my education classes! I would teach
them the same lessons to both classes and got to see the difference. The first class
was smaller and less motivated. It was difficult to teach them because I could not
easily gauge if they were following even when I asked directly. They did not

participate much and I had to really push them to learn. The second class, however,
was much larger and more motivated. The lesson usually flowed more freely. They
participated and understood where I was trying to get the lesson to go. The main
issue I had in the second class was making sure that more than just one or two
students took over class participation.
Overall, my experience was very good. It reinforced a lot that I learned in my
previous experience and some technologies that I learned in class. My cooperating
teacher was good about helping me and identifying where I could improve while
encouraging me where I was doing well. The students, while not always motivated,
were receptive and respectful. I enjoyed my experience a lot and cannot wait to
spend more time in the classroom.