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Pontiac Field Experience

Reflective Summary

Alcott Elementary School, Pontiac, Michigan

Fall Semester, 1998


Every Thursday this semester I have reported to Beth Ivanís fourth grade classroom at Alcott Elementary in Pontiac. Sometimes I forget how much I can learn simply by showing up. This was my first field with younger students. Consequently, I had to learn how these children learn and what they need versus the eighth and ninth graders of my last field.

By showing up each week, I learned useful tools that one day may be a part of my own classroom. I learned different classroom management skills, how to work with children one on one, how to diffuse potentially hostile situations, and what to do when a bright student is faced with getting kicked out of school because of a fight. Beth taught me a lot this semester.

I also learned that I like upper elementary kids. I have always said that I want to teach kindergarten, first grade, or second grade. This term I was with fourth graders, and I really liked it. These kids already have a bit of an education, and they do not need you to tie their shoes or wipe their noses for them. They are already somewhat independent and are looking for their teachers to make them even more independent.

This was also my first urban placement, which was quite an experience for me. These kids are already so tough, and they are not even out of elementary school. Many of them do not have a choice but to be like this.

Overall, I learned so much this term. I even taught a few lessons to the kids and handled reading groups. This has been a good experience for me, and I would welcome more like it.




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