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Observation Overview

Hillary Snare Teaching Portfolio

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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.

Teacher w/pre-school students

Child Development 20 hours
Emergent Literacy 15 hours
Foundations Of Education 10 hours
Early Child Education 30 hours
Special Education 30 hours

"Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern but impossible to enslave." -Cicero