My classroom instruction time has been invaluable to me however my time spent observing and doing field work has been equally
beneficial. Being able to see hands on what teachers and students face everyday has allowed me to feel more confident in my
choice to teach. Having an opportunity to be in the field has lead me to a deeper understanding of what the job involves.
Understanding through observations and candid open discussions with teachers, school administration and school board members.
Watching students interact with staff and classmates has also allowed me to see intricate details that you miss in the classroom
or lecture setting.
Overall my time in the field has been very positive. Teachers have been welcoming and schools have gladly set time for
me to observe. I have observed in several different situations. I have observed a preschool class at a private daycare, a
Head Start class and a Universal Pre- Kindergarten classroom in the Schenectady City School District. I have also observed
a contained classroom at Albany Highschool, a resource room at Guilderland
High School, the teen parenting program at Schenectady High School, and several elementary classes in the Schenectady City
School District. I also spent some time observing two different home-schooling environments one which was religious based
and the other that was not.
Each classroom was different. The private daycare didn’t reflect much diversity and the classrooms were filled with
commercial posters and brand name toys, the teachers and children seemed to enjoy each other and the parents appeared content,
the head start class though not glamorous in a rickety old building with peeling paint had appeal. Areas were well defined
and students flowed in and out of choices. This classroom did not reflect much diversity either just these faces were of different
shades then that of the pervious place. The UPK classroom was a nice mix of both worlds and hosted children of many races.
The room arrangement was appropriate and the walls were plastered with the children’s creative works.
Observing at Albany High School was not as I expected after hearing of horrible events and terrible students I expected
the worse but what I got was a secure and safe environment with helpful staff and friendly students. The contained classroom
was designed quite like a preschool classroom with learning centers. The students required a lot of attention from the staff
and they responded well to each of the students needs. The lead teacher in the room was very sweet and energetic she had planned
curriculum and appeared to advocate for her students extremely well. This was an amazing experience. My observation at Guilderland
High School was very helpful, I was able to see students with varying disabilities although I was sadden as the teacher appeared
overworked and several times asked me to help her. Schenectady High School’s teen parenting classroom gave me a chance
to see the struggle of these young girls and the special relationship and bond a teacher must develop with these girls to
earn their trust.
I had the privilege of observing in many elementary schools in Schenectady, each one different but all had similarities.
I recently observed in one school building in two different classrooms, the teachers had very different approaches to teaching.
The first teacher seemed to "conduct" her classroom she was in charge and in control. She didn’t allow for child directed
time and her room was a bit messy. She did appear over worked and she admitted to having an extremely difficult class this
year. The other teacher allowed for the children to control the classroom more, she encouraged small groups and experimentation.
She had a split 3/4 class but seemed very on top of things. The students controlled themselves and knew when to leave for
lessons and other pull outs. I really admired this teacher and desire to run my classroom much like hers. She also included
technology into her day allowing the students to research online whatever topic she was teaching.
I am glad to have had this opportunity to observe in several different classroom setting and school districts. Both private
and public. I am happy I was able to observe multiple grade levels. Observing has helped me to see beyond just the early years
and has opened my eyes to the world of teaching opportunities.