What I no longer know

“What do I no longer know as a result of my community field experience (CFE)?”

For my CFE, I volunteered at PALS Autism Adult program. I guided adults with autism through lessons on community involvement, functional life skills, and functional academics. At the end of my CFE, I no longer knew if I was teaching relevant knowledge. As a biology teacher, I taught many abstract concepts about the environment and living organisms. However, I didn’t see how such knowledge could be relevant for the adults with autism at PALS.

“Why is this not knowing important to my teaching practice?”

I believe that now knowing is important because it forced me to think whether the content material is relevant to the students. For example, I wondered how learning about ecology matters to students. If I don’t show the impact of ecology on the students’ lives, the students may lose interest or engage in rote learning. In addition, my CFE experience allowed me to think what kind of knowledge and skills are essential for students’ “success” in life. Such knowledge and skills include being resilient, forming positive relationships, and being involved in communities. In my teaching, I hope to not only make my content material relevant but also teach essential life skills to the students.

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