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Conner Bourgoin

Adjusting to Practice Reflection


My ability to adjust to practice has developed greatly during the student teaching
practicum. While I have no evidence of my early challenge to adjust a lesson, Im sure
that, at the beginning of the lesson, I would have froze if some of the situations I had to
deal with later in the semester came up in the middle of a lesson.
The two elements I selected for proof of my adjusting to practice are the two
lessons comparatively on how to teach a counter-claim paragraph, and the assessment
data that derived from that. The first lesson shows clear instruction on how to write a
paragraph, no doubt, but it is never really differentiates between a claim #3 paragraph
and a counter-claim paragraph. Needless to say, there is room for not reaching the
objective in the students first drafts. The second lesson shows a re-teach of the first
lesson, but a scaffolded process in which students read two examples I drafted, and
discuss the difference. By the lessons end, there is a clear difference between a 3rd
claim paragraph and a counter-claim paragraph. The expectations are clearly set for
students.
The second element is the data I got from the assessment project. This shows
how successful adjusting this lesson was for the students. Most of the students reached
the proficient mark for their second draft, and students felt much more successful in
writing their first ever term paper. This also shows that I can adjust practice if the
objective standards (reaching an 85) are not reached.
A third element that can be viewed on my reflective practice page is when I
adjusted my lesson on relating biblical verses to Lord of the Flies. I told students to
discuss any biblical references they found in the novel. It struck me, after observing the

Conner Bourgoin
body language of the students, that many students didnt grow up with any knowledge
of Catholicism. In that moment, I realized there was not going to be good discussion on
this topic if I didnt do something right then and there. Upon improvisation, I told the
class, if they knew anything about Catholicism, go to the right side of the room, and if
they didnt, go to the left side. I then made groups accordingly so there was a mix in
each group, so there could be student-to-student teaching. This worked very well, and,
on the examination, 42 out of 44 students got the two multiple choice questions right
asking about biblical references.
Once again, at the beginning, I was not ready to deal with sudden issues within
the classroom. If something like this had come up, I might have looked to my mentor
teacher to ask what I should do, in which case she always had an answer. This was
good, but not good for me if I wanted to have my own classroom. These adjustments
later in the semester showed that I had grown as an educator, and I feel so much more
ready to teach and adjust practice accordingly when I teach in the classroom alone.
As for future plans, adjusting to practice is something that you cannot work to
until you get the real trial-and-error experience in the classroom. As I embark on being a
long-term substitute teacher at Foxborough, I hope I run into a few academic issues
with the students, so I am there made to come up with a different plan, or a re-teach of
the lesson. This is all good, for it teaches me not to stress out and also that things arent
supposed to go perfectly. Failing is giving up; failure is not being successful the first
time. I hope to have at least one more reteach of a lesson by the school years end to
further practice my adjusting skills.