For my Community Field Experience, I had the opportunity to teach at York House School. York House School is a leading independant day school for girls located in Vancouver, BC. During my three weeks, I worked closely with my staff advisor to create lesson materials, design lessons, and implement assessments for and of learning. I was also fortunate enough to attend a number of field trips that allowed me to explore what teaching was like outside the four walls of the traditional classroom. These trips included a school connections trip to the “Little School” (York House’s Kindergarten Facility), service-learning trips to the YWCA, and a trip to the Kiwanis Music Festival.
In reflecting on my experience at YHS, I feel like I have forgotten how to work with large groups of students. While my extended practicum featured classrooms of thirty students, York House’s classes were no larger than twenty students. While I had been use to jumping from one student to the next in my practicum school, this experience gave me much more time to work with students on an individual basis.
While working with small classes was refreshing, this state of not know has enabled me to become better and more efficient at providing feedback to my students. As an educator, it is of the upmost importance that we reflect on our own classroom practice and make improvements. In this particular case, this state of not knowing has enabled me to rethink my assessment methodology to reflect the reality of my classroom. For example, instead of marking each of my student’s reading responses, I will get them to focus their attention on one question. This will both reduce my marking load, while conversely allowing me to provide my students with more meaningful feedback. Thusly, not knowing puts us in a greater state of knowing.