Thursday, February 19

Reggio Emilia approach

Of the four models discussed in class, what fits you best and why? Share any experiences teaching or observing in any classrooms with these models.

I think that I would love to teach in a classroom that was taught by the Reggio Emilia approach to education. I have not taught or observed in any of the four models discussed, so I have no prior experience to help reflect on my choice. From what we learned in class, I think that I would thrive as a teacher in a classroom run by the Reggio Emilia approach. I love the fact that the curriculum is formed around projects that the children come up with their own. Projects can last up to a few months if it is something that continues to hold the children’s interest. I think students learn so much more when they are genuinely dedicated and interested in what they are learning about, and this is definitely shown through Reggio Emilia’s curriculum projects. The students get to choose what they learn, and their level of interest decides how long the project lasts. I feel that I get very into projects and love working on one thing/project for a long time, so my personality is very ideal for using the Reggio Emilia approach. I consider myself a pretty creative person, so I think I would really enjoy the influence that art plays in the classroom. I think it is awesome that there is an art studio and an atelierista at each school. I feel that creativity and art do not play enough of a role in the primary grades, and that the Reggio Emilia model incorporates a lot of art and visual art. I think I would really enjoy working in a classroom run by the Reggio Emilia approach, and that my artistic ability and dedication to individual projects would help me be successful in this environment.

Sunday, February 15

Journal 5.4

Think about being a child in David’s class. What does it feel like for George? For Melaney?

I do not think I would like being in David’s class as a first grade student. David is using the Distar method in his classroom, which is designed and built around efficiency and structure. I think that if I was George I would feel good about myself, since I got the positive reinforcement when I gave a correct answer. However, I think that if I were any student in his class I would not feel very valued, since it does not seem he can give very much personal attention to any student. His class is very fast paced and structured. I don’t think that first grade classrooms should be as structured as Distar classrooms are designed to be. Students feel like just another child, and not someone special and important, which is how I feel teachers should be toward their students. Each student is an individual and important, and should not be rushed through learning, or experimented with to see what methods are the most efficient ways of learning. To me learning is about effectiveness, not efficiency. If I were Melaney I would feel very behind. I didn’t understand the exercise about the alphabet, but most of the class did, so everyone zoomed through the activity and I was left behind. No one helped Melaney catch up, or slow down the lesson to see who else needed help. I think that being a student or a teacher in a Distar classroom environment would be exhausting and frustrating. While I believe that there must be structure and order to all classrooms, the classroom environment in David’s class seemed too businesslike and unsuccessful.

Friday, February 13

Journal 10.1

When you read the description of the “future” kindergarten teacher, what qualities do you have that match the ones described? What might you do to continue to develop other characteristics or qualities of a kindergarten teacher as described by Pam?

I believe that I have many of the qualities described to be a good kindergarten teacher. I love working with children and genuinely enjoy interacting with young children and watching their academic and emotional growth. I believe that I have the flexibility to working with many different parent volunteers and different academic specialists who will be helping out in the classroom and at the school. I have experience working in cooperation with many adults in a variety of settings. I believe that in my own classroom I will be open about having other adults in the classroom, but I will also be sure to remember each person’s different leadership role. I will value every adult who spends their time in the classroom and helps out. I am definitely willing and excited about collaborating with others, especially while working with a team of teachers who are all teaching the same grade level as me. I think that having a strong team is so important because teachers can all share materials and ideas with each other. I believe that I am only starting to understand what is developmentally appropriate for early childhood students, and while I take more education courses and gain more experience in the classroom, this will help continue my development in this area, and help me solidify my personal philosophy.