Today was a very important day to me: today was the day of my first evaluation as student teacher! I was scheduled to be evaluated by my supervisor professor and by my mentor teacher.
I planned everything related with today’s class with extra care. I choose to make an Easter activity related with the grammar topic I had been discussing during these days, comparative adjectives and superlative adjectives. I choose to do a “Grammar Egg Hunt”. Here is today’s lesson plan: Easter Egg Hunt Lesson Plan. Here is the Power Point presentation of today’s class: Grammar Egg Hunt.
During the hour prior the class, the first thing I did was arranging the candy appropriately in order to avoid any possible mess. I needed three kinds of candy, so I chose Easter chocolates, Easter candy eggs and Easter candy bunnies. Each kind of candy had a bucket to be stored. I placed them in a table near the Smart Board.
The next time I did was activating the correct alarms in the iPad. Today the class changed of time (it was at 9:00 am instead of 1:20 pm), so I needed to set new alarms for being aware of when I had 10 minutes of class left and 5 minutes of class left. I left the iPad near the place where the computer would be.
The next thing I did was resolving a technological issue: my supervisor professor would need to have my computer with her, because I have several documents of my professional binder in the computer. So I borrowed a school computer for giving the class and left my MacBook to the supervisor professor. I tested everything in the school computer, including the clicker, and everything worked perfectly.
When the bell rang and I had an empty classroom I began to place an Easter bag in each seat. You can see the Easter bags in this photos:
Shortly after my supervisor professor and my students arrived (my mentor teacher was already in the classroom), and the fun began. The kids became very excited when they saw the Easter bags in their seats!
First we did the usual beginning routine. Then I reviewed yesterday’s class material. Then I explained what is an egg hunt. Finally, I explained what we were going to do in our Grammar Egg Hunt: each Easter bag had two plastic Easter eggs, one Easter egg had a paper with a number inside and the other Easter egg had a paper with an inspiring thought inside. The number was the exercise that the student was going to do. If the student answered the exercise correctly, he or she may have Easter chocolate for filling their Easter plastic eggs or their Easter bag. If the student explained correctly why the answer was correct or wrong, he or she may have Easter candy eggs for filling their Easter plastic eggs or their Easter bags. If the student identified correctly if the adjective was comparative or superlative, he or she may have Easter candy bunnies for filling their Easter bag (they were too big to fill the plastic Easter eggs). If the student had everything wrong, he or she may explain the inspiring quote of the other egg in his or her own words, and then he or she may have Easter candy too. This is the list of the inspiring thoughts placed inside the Easter eggs: Egg Hunt Quotes.
The students LOVED the game, and of course, they LOVED the different kinds of Easter candy. I also gave an Easter bag with two eggs to my mentor teacher, so when the number 15 came and no student raised his or her hand, I knew that was the number in his bag. He did the exercise like all the students, and he did it correctly, but most students did not let him to take Easter candy for his Easter bag! The students thought he had enough candy already. We all laughed. Then some students went to my mentor teacher and shared the Easter candy of their own Easter bags with my mentor teacher. That was an excellent empathy lesson!
The first alarm rang when we finished the last exercise, the exercise number 20. After we finished that exercise, I had the time to ask three students what their inspiring thought meant. Then the second alarm rang, so I close the class giving them a handout that they needed to glue in their notebooks: it was the announcement of a test for next Tuesday, including the material that is going to be tested. This is an image of the test announcement (my mentor teacher was kind enough for cutting the paper for me):
I made a special “joke” to my supervisor professor and to the students. While they finished to glue the test announcement to their notebooks, I asked them if they knew what the word “complaint” meant. They told me they did not know. So I explained them what that word means, and let them know that if they had any complaint about me they could say it to the professor that was seated in my computer’s place (my supervisor professor). I told them she was my “boss”. The supervisor professor laughed (she is not really my “boss”, and she explained so to the kids) and asked the students if they had any comment about me, anything that they felt she should know about my teaching tasks. Several student raised their hands and I let them tell her whatever they wanted. So, I made the students part of my evaluation!
The kids behave amazingly good during the activity! I needed to catch their attention several times with some pauses for jokes and comments, but that is normal, especially considering their age.
I waited a little bit after the class was over while my supervisor professor and my teacher mentor completed all the evaluations. I was not expecting a good grade because we are told in the pre-practicum that the punctuation of the first evaluation usually is not higher than 50.
When they called me and I was informed of my final punctuation, I became happy and very emotional. There is always room for improvement, but it was a very high punctuation for being the first evaluation of a student teacher. My biggest failure was that in some moments I gave my back to the students while giving the class, and I must care giving the class facing the students at all moments. I also had some pronunciation issues, especially every time I said the word “thought.” I was given the freedom to write my own philosophy of education, despite not being exactly like the philosophy of education that everyone writes, my philosophy of education is like more “original,” although this is not intentional.
We also discussed how I am going to complete my 300 teaching practice hours. I will have 250 regular student practice hours at May 18, the last day of classes, so I need 50 extra hours to complete the required 300 teaching practice hours. I am not authorized to arrive earlier than 7:30 except if I have a school meeting at that hour (I had a school meeting today at 7:00 am to coordinate an extracurricular activity) nor I am authorized to have less than one hour for lunch break. The first one is not allowed because I come from far away and the second one is not allowed because it is not healthy for student teachers or teachers to cut their break time for completing school work. I need to learn to distribute my teaching time reasonably, and that includes learning to take the appropriate break times. I am authorized to complete the 300 practice hours with extracurricular activities (25 hours maximum) compatible with my other University classes (besides the teaching practice, I am also enrolled in two college classes: Writing About Literature and Ceramics), with research time for the action researches done at home (12.5 hours minimum) and with all the time spent at home writing my philosophy of education (12.5 hours minimum). My supervisor professor thought I should be able to reach 300 hours with those arrangements. I agreed.
We scheduled my next evaluation at May 9. I worked very hard for today’s class, but I also thanks God for making it possible. I expect to improve for the next evaluation.
Let’s keep growing!