Hello future CD 257 students,
This class is something that may appear to be rather daunting at the beginning of the semester. The amount of reading may seem immense, or the small group activity plans, and anecdotes may appear to be tedious. But let me tell you, there is a purpose with every single assignment and discussion. It is time consuming, but everything that is great should be time consuming. This class will truly provide you with 15 weeks of amazing experiences, reading, and discussions.
When in the child development lab, you learn so many beneficial teaching techniques that can only be learned through doing them over and over again. As a teacher, we are unable to plan everything and that is something that I am constantly working with in the lab. I am working every week at being flexible and “going with the flow”, and that is exactly what you will have to work on. It is important to me to incorporate the interests of each child into activities. As I am growing and changing as a teacher, so are my other teachers, so together we are working as a unit to benefit the whole group. This group collaboration is one of the most beneficial aspects of your day teams, use them.
While reading the lab manual, pay attention to aspects that intrigue you, or stick with you. The sections on descriptive feedback, modeling and parallel play, assisting children respectfully, and encouraging to notice one another s work (pg. 9-10) in the lab manual stood out to me the most. I think that these four principles will follow me throughout my entire life as an educator. Through treating students respectfully, and encouraging children to respect others, as well as notice others’ work, a positive, educational environment can be fostered. On pages 13 and 14 of the manual, guidance for children’s play and problem solving is investigated. I thought that initially this was going to be difficult for me, but I have become more natural at modeling positive interactions between the conflicting students, and you will too.
Lastly, take criticism well. Listen to Jillian, the student teacher, and Mary Ann, their job is to help you grow in this experience. Pay attention, and read your lab notes, your anecdote responses, and any other feedback, because they are only offering it so that you can be a reflective teacher. Good luck this semester and remember that this class has a purpose, and you will get more out of it than you could imagine. Stay positive!