I had my first field placement on Friday, and it went extremely well! I got to speak with the teacher for twenty minutes before the students came back from Spanish, and I was immediately able to tell how much she loves to teach and how much she adores this school. She has a great deal of experience, and she was very eager to have me help out in the classroom (she is co-teaching with a teacher who I have not met yet). The children (first and second grade) came back and, after introducing me to the students and having the students introduce themselves to me, the teacher gave them a spelling test. This gave me the opportunity to see what level the children are at in their spelling, and to learn a new way to set up a spelling test: the teacher glued illustrations of Native Americans on the top of the page to remind the students about what they are studying (each year they alternate between studying Native Americans and People of the World).
One thing that I did notice was, when the teacher read a story, there was a part that read, “You fight like women! Can’t you fight like a man?” I was a bit concerned that the teacher did not have a metaconversation with the students about gender stereotyping, as that simple sentence can have a serious impact on the way students think about their own strength in relation to their gender.
I took a little time to look through some of the books in the classroom, and found that there was a limited number of racially diverse books (some had minority main characters, but most had all white characters). These experiences lead me to question the criticality of the school; however, I am still impressed with the quality of students’ socialness and participation.