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Job Shadowing Reflection Essay

I was lucky enough to go spend my job shadowing experience with my old fourth grade teacher, Mr. Quigley, which was a cool experience to see how things has changed in his classroom over the years and how some things and ideas are the same throughout his classroom. He also introduced me to other grade level teachers and encouraged me to spend time with them too. I got a lot of hands on experience and thought it was very helpful that I had the chance to spend time in different classrooms of different grade levels.

I spent the whole first day I was at the elementary school floating between a 3rd/4th grade classroom and a 3rd grade classroom. I have never been in a mixed grade class before, so I was excited to see how that worked and flowed. The only big thing that I noticed that would happen in the mixed grade class was that some of the 3rd graders in the mixed class would go over to the strictly 3rd grade class during math time. I asked how they determine which 3rd graders would go over to the other class for math time, which lead into a good discussion about assessment.

Mr. Quigley talked to me a lot about always checking in with the students and have them do a lot of selfassessments. I learned that this is a helpful idea because is it’s good to know if the student feels comfortable with the material. If the material is too easy then the student can become bored, which can result in behavioral problems and obviously the student won’t be able to expand their learning. If the material is to hard then the student can feel discouraged which could result in the same consequences as if the material was too easy.

One strategy that I liked that Mr. Quigley did to implement this idea of self-reflection was he had a stop light hung up in the front of the class, after he explained the activity and went over with the students what kind of tools and knowledge the kids would need to know in order to complete the activity. He had a stop light in the front of the class with changeable quote about each activity next to each color of light in the stop light.

He would have each student and himself put a sticky note with their name on it next to the color of light they felt about the activity. He then paired up the students with each other according to the color they put their name by, for example he would pair a student that was in the green meaning they had no questions and felt comfortable with the activity with someone who was in the red or yellow, meaning they might have some questions or didn’t feel completely comfortable about the activity.

Then in the middle and at the end of the activity he would check back in with the students and see if they thought they needed to change where their name was on the stoplight. He was then able to see who was improving on the skills needed to complete the activity and assign the appropriate work from there. I did a few different things that I got to observe and participate in the mixed grade class and the strictly 3rd grade classroom.

I took individual kids out in the hall to have them read out loud to me, I got to help introduce and teach how to play a math game, then watch and flow around to help during the kids turn to play. I gave spelling test to students, then graded the spelling test. I also spent some time with groups out in the hall reading articles and then have the kids answer questions about the articles. The second day that I was there I mainly worked in a kindergarten classroom with Mr. Quigley’s daughter Miss Quigley.

One of the first things that I noticed was with the kindergarteners was they attended school the full day and the full week, which was different from when I was I was in kindergarten. This means that the teachers would have to come up with more ways to keep the kids entertained and also get them learning which I learned wasn’t a very easy task. The attention span of these young kids was very little so I noticed it was important for the teacher to use different strategies to incorporate learning into things that interest and keep the ttention of the children.

One thing that I really liked that Miss Quigley did at the beginning of class before anything was bring the class together and have them do activities such as wiggle their sillies out, stomp their angeries out, stretch their sleepies out etc. I think this is a good way to start off the day with kindergartners so they are able to get some energy released and they can feel like they are ready to start the day off with no sillies, angries, etc. While in the kindergarten class I got to do a number of things as well.

The first thing I did that Miss Quigley does every morning with kids was sit down at a table with a few of the students and just talk to them see how they are feeling and what they are looking forward to in the day. Then we gathered the kids up for rug time where I got to read a story to them, and observe them sing songs in sign language and talk about what they had in store for the day. Then the kids chose what they wanted to do for “worktime,” I spent my worktime in the art station painting and talking to kids.

We had recess and then | just spent the rest of my time in the kindergarten class observing the kids play and interact with Miss Quigley. I ended my second say back up with the 3rd/4th grade class, where | mostly just watched what was going on. There were a few other things that I observed that were school wide that I thought was interesting. One thing I noticed was that in the classrooms there were special funky chairs at certain desks, what I found out was these chairs were there for kids that were extra hyper active so they can rock and wiggle in the chairs.

I thought the different chairs that allow children to rock and wiggle while they are still working at their desk was a really good idea, but I think it would be nice to have them for all the children so jealousy issues wouldn’t arise. Another cool thing that I noticed while flowing throughout the classrooms was these passes that said “Coloring corner pass” these were given to kids that felt they needed to not go to recess and to de-stress via coloring sheets during that time.

I know there has been a lot f studies that suggest that coloring is calming and helps destress people and lowers anxiety, so I think this idea of a coloring corner during recess time is a very good idea. After this experience I am still interested in pursuing a teaching career. I think it was super helpful to observe and help in different grade classrooms as well to get a feel for what || think I would like to teach. Overall I had a really good time and it was already even rewarding just for the two days I was there. I think I gained a lot during this experience.

One big thing that think I gained was seeing how different classrooms/teachers flow and transition from one activity to the other, I also got to see how different classrooms/teachers use attention grabbers, both things were helpful to get ideas for myself. Another thing | gained was a sense of how different thigs are now ten years later from when I was in elementary school. I think it’s important to realize things like technology, even kids in general change throughout the years and I will have to adapt to those changes.

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