Well, we are two weeks into my internship. It’s been a crazy start up to the year! Including a classroom filled with boxes on day one (due to a roof leak back in June) added to the regular commotion of the start of a new school year. The past two weeks have been a fantastic learning opportunity for me.
In my prior two placements, I have been very lucky with a delightful class of grade 3 students and two self-motivated CHEM 20 classes. In my final practicum, I’m realizing this is not the norm. This is not to say that my students in this placement are bad students or disrespectful, they just aren’t the same as my former ones. My science 10 students are still bright eyed and bushy tailed, excited at the idea of being in high school! My CHEM 20’s on the other hand, have a year under their belt and have figured out high school. They are extremely chatty for the better part of my lesson and are constantly asking questions regarding material I have just covered. My struggle with this group is reaching the majority of my students. The students in my class who have some amount of self-motivation (or extrinsic future goal as a motivation) are exceling. However, those students who are at school for the social benefits (which I completely understand as well) are struggling in my class and are creating a stressful work/learning environment for other students.
This troubles me as I understand the importance of developing a positive classroom environment that promotes learning. My fear right now is that the learning potential of each student is falling short. I really want to provide an opportunity for those who are clearly interested in the course material an environment where they can work and flourish. Even more, I want to get to the root of how I can maintain the focus of the rest of the class, to promote a positive learning environment, and most importantly engage these learners in the material. This will be an ongoing goal for me throughout this semester I can already tell.
The purpose of this practicum is to learn as much as possible and I am learning an immense amount already in my short time here. The most valuable lessons I have taken away from the past three weeks (including staff days prior to the students arriving) is the need to develop authentic relationships with my students. I have started to build relationships with my students, taking steps towards achieving my goal, but I need to, and will continue to, do more in order to give each student in my room the opportunity of success.
Until next time,