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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Education
October 25, 2014

Canadian Excellence

A Year in the Life: TEC Blog

October 2009: Practicum = Awesome!

First Practicum: Two weeks in your placement school where your aim is to teach up to 25% of the time. You are not evaluated, formally, during this time.

I had tried teaching a couple of lessons prior to the practicum, and one of them was terrible, so I was mildly terrified for my practicum to begin. Fortunately for me, my associate teacher was very reasonable, so my first lesson, on the first day was a 30 minute gym class (well, I had to teach it twice to two different grade 7 classes). Since I†love phys-ed, I thought, no problem. No problem? Not quite.

Surprisingly, this was harder than I anticipated. We were in the middle of a grade 7 football unit, which is only about 5 lessons long, and I had to find a game that built on what they already knew (not much), and introduce the next skill. After hours of searching the internet I found a modified flag football game to teach. The trick, however, was to explain what it was that they were learning and how it applied to a real football game. At the end of the day, I would say that the lesson was a B-. I needed to improve the instruction and rules a little, but got great feedback on the skill progression.

†††† Through the course of the two weeks I taught about two or three 30-minute lessons a day. While my lesson plans still are taking a long time, I have to say that this week really solidified my decision to become a teacher. I loved this experience. I enjoyed seeing those kids every day. I had an amazing topic to teach Ė a Language Arts unit on "Stepping Up".

†††† The one part I found the most difficult was figuring out HOW to teach. I think we spent maybe, maybe 30 minutes talking about classroom teaching strategies in the first five weeks of class. And talking about strategies is a little different than picking one and actually using it! Until my faculty advisor came to evaluate me, I didnít realize that I was only doing one kind of teaching Ė talking to the students and then having them work on an assignment. I didnít use graphic organizers or placemats, and since those were the only two strategies I actually remembered, my lessons were pretty similar. This is something I am definitely going to have to work on and do some serious research!

I feel like Iíve really bonded with the students and they were sad to learn that I wouldnít be in their classroom again until my third practicum, which was nice. These two weeks totally refueled and re-motivated me. By the second week I could not ignore the long list of assignments due after practicum, but part of me just wanted to enjoy the experience, so I will be very busy this weekend!

I also got to witness volleyball tryouts. It was very useful to see the drills my associate teacher, the volleyball coach, used to pick the team. I cannot wait to coach one day; it was one of the driving forces to become a teacher. I just think it will be so rewarding.

Well, I am sad to see the first practicum come to an end, but am encouraged to know I will be back in just over a month, and then itís Christmas! For the first time in years I will actually have two weeks off over the holidays. Hooray!

3 people have commented
1 Nicky - 8 Feb 2010

Hi Tammy!
It's Nicole Cardwell. I'm just in between classes at Queen's U so keeping it short. I'm also enrolled in the Bach of Edu and loving it! Great blog by the way! My mother came across it and forwarded it to me. Thanks for the tid bit about Upper Grand! =)
I was also accepted to WLU but chose Queen's in the end. Story for another time.
Keep bloggin' & hope all!
Nicky

2 Nicole - 8 Feb 2010

...is well...hope all is well! LOL! :P

3 Tammy G - 23 Feb 2010

Hi Nicole! Yes, I'm very excited to begin my new career. Best of luck to you in your job search!

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