March 2011

Practicum Reflections

For the past few month I have been a Faculty Adviser to Teacher-Candidates (pre-service secondary science teachers). As part of my responsibility I had to observe their teaching and provide them with useful feedback. It was my first time to do practicum supervision and being a new person to the system, I noticed a few interesting things that happened to me as a result of this practicum experience. While I started it thinking that I will help the pre-service teachers and that this experience will be beneficial for them, with time I realized how much I learned from it. For example today I discussed a teaching experience with one of the pre-service teachers. She mentioned that it is a great opportunity for her because she can try different things and experiment with her teaching. She said that this makes her feel as a scientist in a lab. She approaches her teaching as a mini-research project – she tries new things but she also takes the time to reflect on the result and to analyze what she found. What an interesting observation. For a new teacher to take the risk and try new things and to reflect on them is a very bold step and I was very happy to see she was feeling supported to do that.

For the new teacher

For the new teacher

I have made so many interesting observations and had a chance to learn so much from the pre-service teachers and their School Advisers.For example, I noticed how the school teaching experience changes the quality of student teaching. In the past five weeks, the student-teachers madeĀ  a huge progress. I think, this is in many ways due to the amazing teacher-advisers they have. The feedback and nurturing that the student-teachers receive from them is just phenomenal.

It also gave me an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the real life inside Vancouver schools – to see the students, the challenges teachers face, their working conditions, science equipment available to the teachers to teach science, the interactions between the teachers etc. I also had a chance to see how secondary science and mathematics teachers are working with future teachers. This has been a very special experience for me.

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