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Education 115 Reflection Paper 1

Jessica Cornett Education 115a Reflection Paper

For my observation for Education 115 I was able to observe at John Battle High School for three solid days. Observing for whole days at a time was beneficial for me because I was able to see how a typical school day progressed from behind the scenes. Due to the weather, I was also able to see how a teacher dealt with altering her lesson plans to accommodate a snow day and a two-hour delay. On my first day of observations, one of the teachers that I was observing was in a meeting, so I got to interact with her substitute teacher. Interacting with the substitute teacher was amazing because it reminded me to never take advantage of a great substitute. It is priceless to have a substitute that is able to maintain balance within your classroom while completing the lesson plan laid out for her. The substitute experience also reminded me that it is very important to have structure within your classroom so when you have to be away the students know the routine that they must follow. Mrs. Fleenor was the teacher that was absent for one of my observation days due to a meeting so I was not able to observe her as much as I would have liked. While observing Mrs. Fleenor, the students were learning about how animals interacted with the environment. Food webs and food chains were the main focus of her lessons while I was observing. It is important to understand how energy travels from producer to consumer to secondary consumer and so on. On all three days of observation, Mrs. Fleenor had handouts for the students to complete with the difficulty of the handouts increasing as the days increased. At the end of the third day,

Education 115 Reflection Paper 2

Mrs. Fleenor gave the students a quiz over the material that they had been learning. The quiz allowed the students to compile all of the information that they had learned into one spot and, it allowed Mrs. Fleenor to identify the areas that were troubling the students. On the third day, Mrs. Fleenor also had the students look at stomata under a microscope. Stomata are little openings on the surface of a leaf that open to allow water in and close to prevent water from escaping. The students seemed to remain focused on their tasks and on Mrs. Fleenor when she was speaking to them. When a student began to lose focus, Mrs. Fleenor only had to say their name and they refocused on her or the task. For the rest of my observation, I observed four chemistry classes and one biology class with Mrs. Fiedler. Mrs. Fiedler wore sweat pants and t-shirts during my observation period which was very unprofessional to me. She tended to lose control of her class easily which may have been due to her class possibly not having respect for her. During my observation, Mrs. Fiedler mainly used the smart board for her lessons. Mrs. Fiedler used the smart board as a white board but occasionally she used the same file from a previous class which prevented the students in the later hour from going through the necessary steps on their own to get the result. This may be fine, but it may also cause complication further on when the students are faced with that task and are unable to do the problem because they cant remember the steps due to the fact that they were previously presented to them instead of them having to derive them. Mrs. Fiedler also presented a video to the students but it was very outdated which seemed to cause some of the students to zone out and fail to process the information presented to them. It is important to stay in tuned with the students so that they are able to relate to the subject material. For the biology class, Mrs. Fiedler did a lab with them where they

Education 115 Reflection Paper 3

tested about fifteen items for their pH and used strips to see if the items were basic, neutral, or acidic. A lab like this is very beneficial because it teaches the students how to make a connection between the two components of the lab. The students were able to make a direct correlation between an item being acidic if it has a small number for a pH and an item being basic if the pH is a large number. The main thing that I was able to learn from the two teachers that I observed and even the substitute that I talked with is that a connection needs to be made with the students to create a positive learning environment. Mrs. Fiedler may be a good teacher when it comes to test scores and the end of the year results, but the connection with the students that I saw within Mrs. Fleenors classroom was amazing. With that connection, the substitute and Mrs. Fleenor were able to maintain a calm, happy, and respectful environment for the students to learn in. In three days I was able to see a topic mastered in Mrs. Fleenors biology class while Mrs. Fiedlers chemistry class was still struggling with a concept that she had introduced to them before I began my observations which speaks a lot for the learning dynamics within the classrooms.