Connected Learning

This semester is definitely starting to pick up. Things have been very busy with my classes and with my field placement. I’ve had an increase in the number of assignments due, and my supervisor came in for my first observation in my field placement. One of the things that I appreciate most at the Warner School is that my classes really are connecting with my field placement, so that I can put some of the theoretical work and discussions from class into practice. I can see the value in my class work and because I can use what I learn, I leave class feeling fulfilled rather than overwhelmed.

As part of my program, I am currently in a Literacy field placement in a first grade classroom. I am in a Rochester City School with a very diverse student population and a progressive school structure. The cultural and linguistic diversity of the student body as well as the co-teaching and shared classroom space have made this a really great experience for me so far. I enjoy the sense of community in the school, and I am finding practical applications for much of what I am learning in each of my classes this semester.

            For example, working with many English Language Learners has allowed me to use some of the linguistic theories and perspectives from my class called Language and Literacy in Education (which I wrote about last week). My Urban Teaching and Leadership seminar provides me with a place to be connected with other developing urban educators. We share and reflect on our experiences in the classroom in light of the class readings and discussion. My field placement seminar and literacy methods course also go hand in hand with my placement. Many of the assignments for each of those classes directly support me in my placement. Writing lesson plans, unit plans, case studies of students, and keeping a journal all allow me to remain reflective while incorporating discussions from class and suggestions from my professors into my teaching.

            I love being able to go to classes after being in the classroom all day and ask my peers for advice or use my experiences to better understand the course material. After class, I find myself rushing home to tweak my lesson plans for the next day, or write about something new in my journal. I feel like I am really supported in my field placement, not only by my professors and supervisors, but by my own learning as well.

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