For my third and final comic, I described what I witnessed on my last visit to Laurel Lower School. During my last visit, the girls in the class all got to share a show and tell with the rest of the class. The students really enjoyed this activity because they were able to talk about their personal experiences. And without them even knowing, they were learning and developing better presentation skills. This part of the day, when the students had the chance to “show and tell”, kept the students engaged and allowed them to each express themselves and learn about each other. This leads to developing better relationships as well as each student feeling important and connected in the classroom. As I mentioned in one of my previous field observation write-ups the Laurel School District uses a weekly class schedule where the students rotate which elective class they attend. The first week I observed the second-grade students, art was the elective in which they went to, then the next time I visited the school they all went to gym, then finally finished with music. It was cool how I got to see each one of them and I think it is a fantastic way for the school to go about it. It gives the students a mix-up, so they don’t get tired of going to the same class for nine weeks straight. The students are able to learn a variety of different skill sets in a short amount of time.
Another thing I noticed during my last visit was the amount of times students ask to use the restroom and/or complain about a headache or something that is bothering them. This reminded me of when we discussed the “ I believe you” section of The New Teacher Book. This section of the book was written by Michelle Stater Gunderson and she described how every morning, one of her students would complain that her head hurts. Michelle mentioned that she would talk to her student and tell her that she knows what is best for her and she will feel better if she tried participating. Later in the section, Michelle realized that she had been handling the situation poorly and should be more considerate and understanding of the student’s problems. The response to a student complaining about his or her problems should be “I believe you.” Mrs. Shwartz did a good job of this with her students. There were multiple occasions when a student in her class complained about something that was bothering them. Mrs. Shwartz always listened to what the students were saying and was able to support them and talk to them about it.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time visiting Laurel Lower School. I got to experience what it is like teaching in an elementary school environment and what methods lead to being a successful teacher. Many of the things I observed during my time at Laurel directly correlated with what we learned in class this semester, including believing in your students and the proper way to respond to their issues they may express.