Pre-internship was an experience I will take with me for the rest of my learning as a teacher, however long that may be. It was such a good experience, there were really good times and times that I could have done better, but I’ll learn as I go. During these three weeks I learned so much, from both the cooperative teacher and the students. I have done a lot of assessing and reflecting on my ways of teaching.
Before beginning my pre-internship, my philosophy of assessment and evaluation has been somewhat developed before hand. I know how I want my assessments to go, just based on things I have learned throughout my years in university from teachers and studies. As a teacher I want to give my students every opportunity they can get to demonstrate their learning and understandings of the materials they are learning. As a teacher it is my job to provide these opportunities for the students, for they won’t come on their own. Doing things such as formative and diagnostic assessments will allow me as the teacher to see where my students are at, who is getting it and who is not, an whether I need to approach the class in a different way. One way I believe is the best way to provide opportunities for students learning is having them be part of the assessment process. Though I find it to be challenging at times, it is for the best for the students. What is stated above is from classes I have taken in University, but it wasn’t until this year that I really learned all the benefits that assessments hold for students. I always knew it was important, but I never had the chance to explore further than this. On form of assessment I find my self agreeing with the most is the formative assessment that are use to see what students are grasping and what might need to be gone over again. Without this form of assessment, it is hard to tell where the students are at. The beauty of formative assessments is that they don’t need to be hard or tricky, they are their for both the teachers and students benefit, where the teacher can help the students by working together. every other class I took dealing with assessment seemed to just scratch the surface, while in this class we dug a little deeper to gain a better understanding ourselves to enable us to benefit and provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning and to help them grow towards success. Assessment is so important for students, not only to help them learn but to also feel confident in the materials they are learning.
During pre-internship, assessment was often used to determine the flow of class and to see where my students were at. I often provided opportunities for my students to demonstrate their learning. I would provide these opportunities through assessments such as Kahoots, entrance/exit slips, small task activities, group discussion, pair collaboration, and the use of whiteboards for answers. During my first week, all of these assessments were used, which allowed for me to see where the students were based on where my cooperative teacher had left off. This allowed me to pick up quickly and get into the grove of things with the students, which was a good way to start off. I did three summative assessments in one of my classes during my three weeks, a small written reflection, an quiz, and a research presentation. Personally I found formative assessments allowed students to feel comfortable to answer questions and/or participate when they knew it wasn’t for marks because they didn’t feel the pressure of the assessment being for marks, and this really showed during my three weeks. I found that the whiteboards at each students desk really helped, my students weren’t big talkers, so when it came to answering questions they were always hesitant, but the moment I asked them to record their answers on the whiteboards, they all got to writing and holding up their answers. This allowed me to see if they were getting the material that I was putting across. From here I would ask students to pair share, and while walking around the room I could really hear how the discussions allowed for further comprehension. Unfortunately there were quite a bit of notes the students had to take for the class, and there were four ELA students that were in the class. Here I allowed them to use their phone for the notes to translate them. If I could change the way I did this, would be to have already translated notes to give to the ELA students that were in need of them. I also had a student with ADHD in my class and would often need breaks from work or taking notes, as did other students, so this allowed me to pull in brain breaks that would give the students a chance to take a break yet continue to work their brains. For the big summative assessment I did during my three weeks was a research presentation. I gave a lesson on how to do research in psychology, and the students were to find a research questions to look into. For an example, one of my students did “What is split brain? What does it do?” and he found a research that would help him answer his question, then it was presented infant of the class to teach them about it. The topics my students chose were very interesting and they all did a very good job.
During the three weeks, I found my philosophy of assessment being challenged by the difficulties it was at times to do these assessments in such a short time and still having the lesson executed on time. However, I was able to put my philosophy to practice and allow it to develop and adjust as the three weeks went by. We are taught in university how important it is to give students time and to support them, but there were times that made me struggle when this idea was taken away. By this I am talking about the 3% deduction per day for late assignments, it does max at 15%, nonetheless, this still bothered me. The students aren’t given the support they need and they are being punished with marks it feels, rather than being praised by the work they have done and are doing in class. It seemed the later their assignment was the more they gave up and lost hope, even though they would excel with in class work. With further thought on this for my internship, I will need to find my own rules and ways to address this challenge.
Something that I took away from this class was to always assess students and give them every opportunity possible for demonstrations of comprehension. This is very important I believe, one, because it allows everyone to keep up with the rest of the class and not getting left behind, two, because it allows me as the teacher to see what things I need to change to help the students learn, grow, and excel. Something I can take away from my pre-internship is that your philosophy might be challenged and you have to learn to be flexible. This might be a challenge in itself, but sometimes there is nothing you can really do expect help your students the best you can, and prepare them for what might be to come. One thing I learned to do this best is through formative assessment, which is ongoing and is always a good thing to turn to, to help students be the most prepared they can be. I found summative assessments (depending on what they were) stressed students out, and that is when they began to fall apart, even though they could demonstrate their learning before, and I believe this is due to the fact grades are given as reward or punishment.
My overall experience with my pre-internship has truly been amazing. I have learned so much and I am excited to see what is in store for me next.