Yesterday was my very first day of subbing for the Regina Public Schools. I woke up early, waited for a call to see where I would be going, then having not planned my morning out too well, scrambled to get ready so that I would be able to leave early enough to get to the school before 830.
I am not good with directions. I realize that. If it weren’t for the amazing ease of googlemaps I wouldn’t have been able to get all the way to the north end to find Coldwell School.
I taught at Coldwell in a Gr 4/5 class in the morning, then jetted over to George Lee school in the aft. to teach a Gr. 7 classroom. I was worried most about the Gr. 7 class because all my intern experience was in a gr. 3/4 classroom, but things went really well. I have to say that both teachers provided excellent day plans, so there wasn’t any need to pull out any tricks of my own.
One thing I will mention in particular about the Gr. 7 classroom was how plugged in it was. The classroom layout was a series of octagonal desks where 3-4 students worked, optimizing the ability to collaborate. The class also had a laptop cart where students were able to freely grab one whenever they needed to research something, print out a final copy of a draft, make a powerpoint for a presentation, etc. I also asked and found out that all the students had blogs, and they also used the entire Google suite (reader, docs, gmail, etc.) in order to keep better track of their work. I was impressed at how well technology had been integrated into their classroom to better support the constructivist model that was in place. During the afternoon while I was there we only worked on different group-led projects. These students used the internet as a real source for information, and navigated effortlessly to find answers to their inquiries about bridges.
Having the opportunity to substitute – to see the multitude of ways in which different teachers approach teaching, classroom mgmt, class environment, equity, inclusivity, etc. has been, after only one day, an amazing way of refining your own practice. I know how important using and understanding technology is for students who are already immersed in it, and seeing this classroom made me feel that, without a doubt, everything we are learning in ECMP355 is valuable, practical, and most importantly possible.