My first ever school placement experience was everything i imagined it could have been. I enjoyed every single minute of it. It was fun, rewarding, energetic and also some parts were challenging. It was interesting to see how teachers and other school staff members dealt and coped with challenging behaviours and situations. This really helped me in my experience because i was able to see what was right to do and how children can benefit from set rules and how teaching is not a 9 to 3 job.
For this first week, i was placed in primary 1. This was amazing. The children were a delight and the class teacher was so helpful. Throughout my week in this class, i was on hand helping the children with their daily tasks. It was such a good feeling when a child would ask you to help them and when they finally understood what to do. I felt confident as soon as i stepped into the classroom. Even though, running up to my placement, i was very nervous.
I got some great feedback from my experience in primary one. I found it very easy to bond with the children and make little friendships with them in a short space of time. After every class, i went home really happy, that i managed to help a young child with their numeracy and literacy skills. It made me feel so good about myself and my ability to teach.
The second week, i was placed in primary 6. This was a much more challenging class. I would say, it was a real eye opener. By this, i mean it was a shock at first to see how many children today, live with additional support needs. Each day, i would help the children with the ongoing problem solving task that was set out for them to do. This was really beneficial for myself as well because i really got to see how children’s mind work and how they can find out different answers uses the same strategies or how they used a variety of different methods to what i would use.
The teacher of primary 6 asked me to work with two boys who were both still at early level. Both of these boys struggled to read and also count to 20. For two mornings, i worked with these two boys by reading a passage to them and asking them questions on what they have heard. I also helped them to do number charts and how to add numbers together to make 10 or 20. I felt as if i really did help these boys. Afterwards, one of them said to me “Miss Grady, I really understand numbers now”. Just hearing someone say that is wonderful and it made me very happy.
This experience really did help boost my confidence not only in my work but also within myself, I have lacked a large amount of confidence in myself for a while now but my placement really helped to identify myself.
Teaching is honestly the most rewarding job and i cannot wait to get back out on placements in second year.