This week I spent 3 days in Huron Valley Catholic school. This school is a private fee paying school with a roll of just over 100 pupils. The school caters to pre-school children all the way to 8th grade (about 14 years old). The school is very much focused on its religion and ensuring that children get the most out of their education with love, care and attention from all of their teachers.
5th to 8th grade acts like an American middle school (and to us the early years of secondary school which means they would have specific teachers for certain lessons such as social studies and language arts).
My first day was spent with the second grade class which had 13 pupils in it aged 8 or 9. I observed the teachers lessons and helped pupils when they had questions. I also gave a presentation to the class about Scotland which they really enjoyed and liked the fact I included The Loch Ness Monster as there was a film made recently about it that they had all seen. This was also a good opportunity for me as I have been on my MA1 placement and gained skills for teaching and better observational skills. The teacher of this class used different forms of questioning and classroom organisation was important with all the girls sitting together and the boys sitting together.
Additionally, there was a big focus on their maths as it was a topic they were finding quite difficult (subtraction). We did a lot of work on this to ensure the pupils had a good undrstanding of the topic.
On Thursday I went to a baseball game with the 6th, 7th, 8th graders which was great fun and it gave me to opportunity to supervise on the school trip. This trip also let me see how involved the parents are with the school as without them we
would have not got into Detroit as they all used their own cars to get the pupils to to the trip and a school assistant drove me and the teachers.
Finally, Friday let me go and visit the other classes and give my Scotland presentation. This was a good opportunity as I was able to see how the older classes were taught and it was great because they had very good questions.
After being in a classroom again for the first time in a while it has allowed to look into and relate a lot more to the SPRs and in particular, the SPR of integrity.
I believe I met the outcome of Trust and Respect very well while being here. Part of the Trust and Respect outcome states that students teachers should be:
- Acting and behaving in ways that develop a culture of trust and respect through, for example, being trusting and respectful of others within the school, and with all those involved in influencing the lives of learners in and beyond the learning community.
I believe I met this while being here as after meeting all the pupils and teachers I treated everyone with the same respect and the same goes for them with me. I was trusted with the classes when giving my presentation and answering questions.
Also, being on the school trip contributed to this too as we were outwit the learning community but it still meant I was to act professionally and be someone the children can turn to if needed.
I had a great time at this school and it was a fantastic learning opportunity for me to see such a different type of school in comparison to the ones I have been in at home and it was great to, again, meet so many nice people.