Sunday, October 21, 2007

ECP3002: Day 1 at a Catholic Primary School.

Thursday was officially my first day at a primary school. Even though it was the first day of the practicum, I did not find it as hectic or busy as I had stayed for almost half a day with the children during Orientation on Wednesday. It must be admitted that I was feeling a little bit at unease on Orientation, and the extra hours and extra day I spent with the children helped me to ease into the mindset and also possibly made the children feel more comfortable with me (or more for me indeed!)

Just to add more details to what we did on Wednesday, the class went for a swimming session at a public state. It was exciting (for me because it was my first time joining a class for swimming!). The children really enjoyed themselves there although they possibly only swam for about 13 minutes and possibly had taken more time to change into and out of the swimming attire than swimming! On Wednesday afternoon, the children watched possible the first third of the cartoon movie “The Incredibles”, which is part of their unit for Term 4. The children continued watching another third of this movie today after their lunch.

The children in this class with Ms. J (she’s married btw) and another class, Mrs. C collaborated together to write out the unit plans. Both classes watched the movie together, and undertook learning for the same unit as well as similar lessons. The difference that exists maybe the style of teaching that is demonstrated by the homeroom teacher, as well as to differentiate for some of the students in the class who may need differentiation with the learning of the curriculum.

The children have a routine that they follow when they come into the classroom each morning. However, they do not enter the classrooms till about 8.30am when the morning bell rings. This is among the routine that they perform when they enter the classroom.

  • Put their bags away on racks.
  • Take out their homework folder and hand in their homework.
  • Take out the Red sheet (reading log) and place on the table
  • Change Readers
  • Get morning talk ready
  • Hand tuckshop in (Mon, Wed, Fri).

I believe a routine helps children to ease into the mindset of getting ready for class and learning for the day. After the children have done that, the teacher will take roll for the day. Once she has done this, one of the children will take it to the office. The teacher also checks for the homework and the red sheet (reading log) each day.

There was Assembly after morning tea, and students from all year levels gathered in this room beside the Year 1 classrooms. One of the Year 3s presented a very beautiful moving message conveyed through powerpoint, videos, a play, singing and dancing. I believe that they must have put in a lot of time and practice to put in this performance for Assembly. The children from the other classes also enjoyed the Assembly as well.

Among one of the enjoyable aspects during the Assembly was when the teacher was called out to take a Raffle ticket from a jar. The Raffle tickets was given as part of positive behaviour management reinforcement strategies for children who “made good behaviour choices” during morning tea or lunch time.

The fact that the prize presented was a Tuckshop voucher for $1 did not matter, but all the students were awed by the “tuckshop voucher”, and this seemed to motivate the rest of the students to give a louder applause when the receiving child from Year 2 went forward to collect his prize.

I also enjoyed understanding the management and the workings of a Catholic school as up to this point of time, I had not been to one. I find it much more enjoyable as I also share and believe in many of the core values of the Catholic faith. Over all, the first day of the practicum was found to be a very enjoyable experience.

There are many so called "Catholic" and Christian schools in Malaysia, but the question is how many of them are actually run the way they are here? I'm not too sure how many of these schools have management that has been returned to the govt, but I do hope that it could be run voluntarily, as I do believe that there will be parents back in KL who would still aspire to have their children sent to these schools too.

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