Field Logs – Final Reflection
My field placement at Jack Mackenzie Elementary School took place with the Grade 2 students. There were 24 students, and even in this small number, the diversity was obvious because white students were the minority. However, the students interacted in pleasant ways and seemed eager to learn about the cultural differences. The teacher used group learning to encourage and engage students, and this method that was quite effective with this group. The school used to have many ESL programs and EA’s, but since funding was reduced, they have had to make cuts. I think that the students in the ESL programs need the extra help that cannot always be provided in the classroom, and because these programs benefit the student is one reason many parents make the effort to transport their children to this school and be involved in their learning process. Mrs. Gilroy-Beck is very in tune with her students’ needs and learning styles, and because of this, she is able to make accommodations as she teaches. However, she is concerned that the lack of EA’s mean students’ needs are not being met. In addition, because of the decrease in EA’s, she has had to find other supports, such as the Saskatchewan curriculum government website.
These students are learning about culture and community. Some of these ideas are formal curriculum while others are hidden, but both are equally important to the student. After all, the student is the most powerful influence on education, and everything teachers do should be for their benefit and well-being. This is one reason many teachers are upset about program and staff cuts. It adds stress to the classroom and the outcome is lower student achievement because the teacher and students require additional assistance. This experience has begun to shape my journey to becoming a teacher, and it has given me a new perspective on the issues teachers deal with in education, and why these are important issues.