I feel the most engaged and excited about my education when I am in the field putting what I have learned into practice. That is what I was able to experience this semester along with uncovering some crucial conversation around what is expected of me as an educator along with some controversial topics and situations I may encounter. Engaging in uncomfortable conversations and challenging dominant discourses around education is crucial, because that will be the reality when I go out into the field as a certified teacher. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to engage in some of these conversations in ECS 311, and I have learned some very valuable information from which I will apply to my career.
Some key elements I am taking away from this semester are the importance of the TRC, putting words to actions, and the fact that engagement is the key to classroom management which stems from relationships (being the most important). If I am to teach from an anti-oppressive perspective, I believe I need to be proactive in my involvement with treaty education as well as be aware of the many oppressed voices that are all around me. Students come from diverse backgrounds, and I believe it is my job to determine what these backgrounds are in order to adjust my instruction and role accordingly.
In addition, there were many learning experiences I gained from my pre-internship. I knew adaptations were inevitable, yet I never experienced it until this semester. Teaching is hard but rewarding work, and there were days when I went home and needed to go for a long run because I thought I failed, but also, there were days when I went home with the biggest smile on face with such reassurance of my career choice. It was the balance that challenged me and the acceptance of criticism that made me grow through this experience. Changing and adapting lessons was very much the most challenging aspect for me, but I would argue that I would not change the amount of preparation I did before hand because it definitely was not wasted. I rarely followed my unit plan, but it was very useful to have access to the ideas, resources, and assessments that it entailed. For the fall, I plan to have an even more detailed unit plan even though I know I will be changing it everyday!
Creating and maintaining the relationships I gained with my students as well as my coop benefited me greatly. Lessons became more comfortable, I was able to be more honest with myself in terms of pedagogically practises, and I become more confident in my own day to day teaching. I was thrilled on Sunday evenings to get to see my students the next day because as relationships grew, I was able to enjoy and step out of my comfort zone during my time in the classroom even more. Leaving was very difficult, and I am so overwhelming grateful to have had the class I had. Next step, internship!