After completing my pre-internship experience, I am now faced with a question: Has my teaching philosophy changed? My answer to this question is yes! There are things that I definitely feel more stronger about, that I am now questioning, that I know have realizations about, and that I would like to add.
One thing that I..
1. Feel stronger about:
I definitely have a stronger belief in the fact that teachers need to help students understand subjects (like mathematics) rather than memorize it. For some subjects I know that this could be hard but up until I started taking education math classes, I never thought that there was a way that we can actually teach and learn math so that it can be understood and be connected to real life rather then through memorization and being basically spoon fed the information. Now, I realize that there are always ways to help students understand material and not just memorize it (although sometimes it will require a bit of work!).
2. Am I now questioning:
I question my understanding of putting in 100% of my effort to try to help my students learn and succeed in their schooling. During my pre-internship, I noticed that there was on average one student in every class where the teacher just didn’t even try to get them to write notes, do the assignment, or get them off of his/her phone. They basically said that as long as the student wasn’t disrupting others, they could just sit there and do nothing. This makes me wonder at what point do you just give up (or I apologize maybe this isn’t the correct term to use…) on a student so that way you aren’t slowing down the rest of the class. It also makes me wonder if this same way of thinking will happen to me? Will I just allow a student to sit there and do nothing and refuse to learn? I just don’t see the point in being in school if you are just going to sit there and do nothing. But now comes a question that I now have: Is it appropriate to ask a student to drop a class if they refuse to learn or do anything in that class? Or can I ask them why there are there in that class if they are just going to take up space and not do anything?
3. Now realize and would like to add:
I now realize the importance of allowing students to individually practice examples of the material that we have just covered and having the teacher walk around checking for understanding and clarifying any questions.
I unfortunately learned this the hard way in my pre-internship. In one of my grade nine classes, we had spent 3 and a half days on one section of the text book (which I personally feel was quite a bit of time to cover that one section which built off of the previous section so they should have had a really good understanding of the material). In the first day and a half, we spent the class time taking notes and doing A LOT of examples as a class. Everything seemed to be going fine; many students were answering questions and shouting out answers so I genuinely thought that they would be ready for a quiz after some practice. So, the next two days I had spent with them doing an assignment and a worksheet. On the fourth day, we had a quiz and I was very surprised to see that a lot of students were struggling with it! I knew that there would be a few students who would struggle with it but it seemed like more students were struggling with this than I had expected.
After this, I had realized my one flaw that most likely had the biggest impact: I didn’t get to do much one-on-one work with my students and be able to check if ALL students were understanding the material (I couldn’t even get much one-on-one time with the students during the assignment and worksheet time because I was trying to get students who had missed previous classes caught up).
Also, by being able to walk around and check students work, this would have been a great classroom management strategy to get the students writing down notes and all the examples (which I found out many were only watching the board and answering instead of taking notes as well).
Also, just because students are either quiet or many shout out the answer doesn’t mean that they completely understand the material which is another reason why allowing students to do individual work while the teacher is circulating the room is important.
So clearly, I now would like to add to my teaching philosophy the importance of allowing time for students to do examples and work individually while you walk around and check their work. Big lesson I learned there.
4. Would like to add:
I actually no believe in tiered assignments. I tried this out during my pre-internship and it actually turned out to work fairly well! The students have done tiered assignments in that class before so they had an understanding of the expectations and what to do. I did struggle with actually creating the assignments because I didn’t really know what assignments would be considered equal amount of work or time so that students didn’t chose which assignment was faster or shorter.
What I would do now that I didn’t realize until after but is I would do all the questions first (which I did) and then I would assign a mark to each question. Then, I would make one assignment and then use the total value of marks to create the next test. When doing this in my preinternship, I just looked at the questions and just kind of randomly picked the number of questions and made it all roughly the same number of questions rather than the same amount of time or work.