Monday, September 25, 2006

Spring Bluff & orientation at a preschool room.

Last Thursday, the group at my professional experience went for a train ride to Spring Bluff. Coincidentally, this coincides with the local Flower Festival and the train runs from Toowoomba to SpringBluff. The trip itself took about 30 minutes or more one way.

We got back to the child care centre at about noon time. The children had their lunch and then went straight to their nap time. That day, I presented my "goop" lesson. I also showed my mentor the lesson plans that I had written and typed up.

It was the 5th day of the professional experience, and also the "At-Risk Day", if my mentor felt that I was at risk.
Well, it so happened that on the Tuesday before, I had gone to see my Professional Experience Co-ordinator, Alice, and had spoken to her. She in turn went and called up my mentor to ask for feedback.

Her general feedback to me was I needed to think about the ways I could put my knowledge I had into practice. Alice was very supportive and gave me a lot of ideas for me to use in planning my activities. It was very good, as I had prayed a lot about it for the past whole week. It just feel really *worthwhile*.

On Friday, I went to M. Child Care Centre, which was a C&K Centre to do my research work for my course. I am planning to do research on "literacy experiences through Play". The topic might be a bit too broad, but I plan to refine it and read up more on it. I also have to fine-tune the information I have collected, in order to categorize it, interprete it and analyse it.

Basically, I was not *really* ready before going there, because I had a lot of reading work to do before going.
I was panicking a lot, because I was trying to find a proper "data collection" method in order to collect the information I needed for my research, and did not really have had the time to read up on my work in the past week before that. So there I was praying about it the entire night before.

The next morning, I arrived at the centre at 9am. I spoke to Ruth, the Director of the childcare centre. I showed her my student ID and the Blue Card for identification purposes, and even showed her "hand-written" letter I wrote, but she asked me to get a formal one from the university instead.Then Ruth led me to the pre-school room (4-5 year olds) and introduced me to the two staff handling the room, Cathy and Janette. Cathy & Janette were really welcoming and friendly, and introduced me to the children.

They were having a structured lesson on music, and were working with Rhythm Sticks when I was coming and asked me to join in the group, which I did. I really enjoyed the morning there. It was really a child-centred programme and used a really child-centred approach to teaching and learning in the classroom.

The philosophy of the classroom was "What is important is not the Finished Product, but the the Process of learning". Which both the staff really took to heart. This they showed even in their outdoor play, where children are allowed open access to the equipment shed. All the children needed to do was just to open their mouths and ask for it.

(will write more about this in the morning tomorrow....too tired to think now).

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