November 30, 2005
Content and Methodology Paper
During my time at Manchester College I have been striving to get a degree in Elementary Education. Throughout the four years I have taken many content classes and methodology classes. I have the highest confidence that my classes have served their purpose and that is to provide me with the knowledge and experience to become the best teacher that I can be. I have had many wonderful professors and many field experience placements to provide me with the skills that I need to be a teacher.
My first content class was Intro to Teaching. I really enjoyed this class, and this was the first class that I learned to write an objective. I also had my first field placement in this class. I was placed at Manchester High School in a special education class for ten hours. At this time of my education I was going to get an endorsement in Mild Interventions and that is why I was placed at the High School level. I didnít feel as though I received the experience that I expected because I really want to stay with the primary grades. The experience of being in a classroom is beneficial any time.
Then I took Foundations of Exceptional Learners. I think that this class is one of the most important, because integration into the classroom is very important. As a teacher I need to be prepared for inclusion and I think that Foundations for Exceptional Learners accomplishes that. In this class we learn many of the terms used with students who have Mild Disabilities. I feel very confident to have the children with mild disabilities included in my classroom.
Educational Psychology was another content class. I loved this class and I felt as though I benefited from that class. In that class I learned from experience. I wrote my first full lesson plan and I taught it to my peers. This lesson incorporated Gardnerís Multiple Intelligences and Bloomís Taxonomy. This was where I received my Bloomís Flip Chart which I will use for the rest of my life. I canít count how many times I have used the chart to write my lesson plans. In this class I also wrote a test. I have never written a test before and it turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it would. In this class we also elaborated on the objectives and wrote many. This class was the beginning of my lesson planning.
Field Biology was a class that I was nervous about. I had heard many horror stories about. I have never been very good at science of any kind and here I had to take a class solely about science. In this class I had many hands on experiences not only with science, but also with children. Field Biology taught me about habitats, plants, animals, etc. All of the materials were taught at Koinonia. Some of the area schools had planned field trips to Koinonia and we were their tour guides. We talked about many of the wildlife at Koinonia to the students and I think that while we were teaching them, they were teaching us.
I have always struggle with math and I have always had to work hard at learning math. When I found out that I had to take two Math for Elementary Teachers classes I was very scared. I found that I had reason to be afraid. I didnít feel as though I was really taught anything. I did what I could to get by in the class, but I didnít really learn math. That was because it was something that the professor assumed we all already knew. I had a horrible experience in high school when it came to math and I have never recovered. I did however find out that I can figure out math and if I can do that then I can work hard and teach math to my students so that they wonít experience the same feelings that I felt. I have talked about some of my content classes and now I will talk about my Methods classes.
The first class that I would like to talk about is my Natural and Social Science class. I have always disliked science and social studies and I have been a little nervous about teaching the subjects. I have learned a lot about the effective teaching methods of those subject areas. At the end of this class I will have written several lesson plans for both Science and Social Studies. I have also learned to write many different types of lesson plans and I have written and taught two mini-lessons. I now feel very comfortable with the subject areas.
Early Childhood Methods and Curriculum is another one of my methods courses. In this class we focused mostly on an anti-bias curriculum for the pre-school aged children. I feel as though the class would have been more effective if the book that we had used in class had been more up to date. The book was written in 1984 and many of the anti-bias methods were very outdated. When it comes to education the methods and theories change constantly, therefore, this book was more like what not to do than what to do. I have learned the most in this class from doing our thematic unit.
Math for Elementary Teachers III is a class that I have found to be very slow and I feel as though I wouldnít have to come to class in order to learn what I need to learn. I have learned many different ways to teach math but I have not actually applied the methods. I think that this class would be more effective if we learned and actually did these methods.
Behavioral Management has been my most effective methods class. I have been very worried about how I will manage behavior and how I will develop an effective discipline plan. This class has taught me many of the methods and theoristsí theories so that I can come up with my own discipline plan. I wrote my discipline paper in this class and I feel as though my discipline plan is going to be a success.
Corrective Reading is the last of my methods courses that I am going to talk about. In this class we have been working on our professional websites and a tutoring project. I think that the tutoring project in this class is a great idea and a great learning experience, but I donít think that it is very effective. There is no way for us to be consistent with the child that we are tutoring. There were many weeks that I wasnít able to spend with my child. I was able to notice an improvement, but I donít feel as though my time was spent wisely. I also love the idea of a professional website, but I donít see how it has anything to do with Corrective Reading. I have been more stressed out about the website than I have been about the content of the class. The professional website is something that should be started as a freshman and not piled on top of everything else as a senior. I have never created a website before so this was very hard for me. More of my time should have been spent on teaching students to read, because that is what I will be doing as a teacher.
As a future teacher I feel as though Manchester College has fully prepared me for my own classroom. I am very excited to become a teacher and to reach students. Through my content classes I have learned about teaching and through my methods courses I have learned how to apply the knowledge that I have gained throughout my time at Manchester College. I have had many field experiences that have enriched my education.