Instructor: Judith Valdez
Observation of the Kindergarten.
Observation of the classroom is very important step to become a teacher for young children. Before entering the school environment, future teachers should always need to gain experiences by observing classrooms. For the "Observation of a Classroom", I went to a Public School, P.S 253 at 601 Oceanview Avenue. I decided to see this school classroom, because every morning I see students and teachers rush inside of the school.
My two hours of observation was spent observing Mrs. Faybyshenko's kindergarten classroom. The classroom is located next to the cafeteria in the first floor and there are only two classroom on that corner. The classroom location is conveniet for students to get into the cafeteria, restroom and out at the end of the day. Before entering the room I noticed that the door has all the information of the students and children. The door had all the students' name on it, schedule and the teacher's name with course numbers. The door seemed very welcome and warm.
The kindergarten room was brightly decorated with lots of posters and students' art. The students' little desks were arranged in two rows pushed together and facing each other. There were about six desks in the classroom with five seats in each desk. On each little desk they are student's name laminated on the top. On the walls they are tons of pictures encouraging children learning. There are pictures of colors, shapes, letters, animals, numbers, objects and much more. I also noticed that there was a schedule next to the big shelf which is filled with children interested books. Next to the schedule there is a calendar hanging on the wall. In the middle of the blackboard there in one smart board, left side of it is one big rug with letters on it and on the right is a door to enter and out the classroom. In the middle of the classroom between the children's desk there are two computers with a printer. At the back of the room there is one big closet where children leave their stuffs. The room was divided into four spaces; the teacher's desk, the student's desk, the computer station and the reading corner. The classroom really looked good.
Daily schedule of the Kindergarten 127 is pretty interesting for the young children. Every week day K-127 has their similar subject, only one subject is different. Every Mondays students of the K-127 got Math routines work, Literacy, Music, Literacy block, Math, Lunch and Math AIS. Every Tuesdays they got Math routines words, Literacy block, Dance, Literacy, Math, Lunch and Math AIS. On Wednesdays children got to go first Theater, than they come back to their class and start their Math routines vocabulary words, Math, Literacy block read, Math, Lunch and Math AIS. Thursdays they got Math words work, Literacy block, GYM, Literacy, Lunch and Math AIS. And on Fridays their schedule are Math routines word, Literacy, Science, Literacy block, Math, Lunch and Math AIS. During their everyday schedule Mrs. Faybyshenko is around with her students and most of the time they are all together and learn together.
Mrs. Faybyshenko starts the class every morning with her Math routines works. She sat on her big chair and told her students to sit down comfortably and asked question about their homework. After everyone sat down Mrs. Faybyshenko would go over their homework, questions and vocabulary words. Each time when the time was to move on to another subject Mrs. Faybyshenko would tell her students to "get ready for the next subject and clean up your desk or put your books on the shelf" when she says to get ready to another subject. Her students obey her and move on to the next subject, but some would like to finish their job than move on. Whenever children move to another activity they seemed frustrated and did not want to leave their job.Children move on with their groups, Mrs. Faybyshenko would collect all the stuffs from their desk which they will not use. She would prepare them for the next activity.
After, Mrs. Faybyshenko moved to the reading lesson, Literacy. She showed which book they will read to her students. As she read the book, while at the same time she was showing the pictures what was going on it. Also before reading the book she asked students to give questions about the book, character or words which they don't understand.While she was reading a book out loud some of her students were carefully listening to her and looking to the pictures very carefully with lots of interest. This made the students and teacher to engage on the book and explain it through discussion.
While Mrs. Faybyshenko was reading and explaining the book she got disturbed couple of times. I noticed how often she would have to take time away from teaching to discipline the other kids who talk over her. It seemed frustrating how often she would have to stop to read or solve the math problems to make sure nobody was talking, being disruptive or not doing their work. Even one child fall asleep while she was teaching them math. Mrs. Faybyshenko was teaching to count numbers and add them together like counting two different color of cubes to add them together. I found out that children does not like math, than the other subjects which they have.
Futhermore, I noticed that children often ask to go to drink water or use bathroom while they are studying math. Whenever they ask to out Mrs. Faybyshenko gets angry and tells them to go with other kid (in pairs). While teaching she saw one student fall asleep who did not speak English, she asked me "What language do you speak?". I told her that I speak Russian language so she asked me to help him out. She asked first to get a drink and told David to wash his face. When we returned to the classroom Mrs.Faybyshenko asked me to help him and the last desk. I started to help her with teaching the kindergarten class. Whenever Mrs. Faybyshenko leaves to other desk or look around to other groups of children. Students immediately starts to talk and ask question about me. Mrs. Faybyshenko couple of times was talking loudly to get more attention. It seemed that she was screaming to the students.
When it was the end of the day she would collect all of her students on the rug and sit on her chair and give them questions about their lesson. After she says to return their desk and start to get your stuffs by table, while she is handing them their homework and announcement for parents. While they were dressing I asked questions. I asked what is her philosophy? What methods she use to teach her children? Mrs.Faybyshenko responded saying " Nobody should be left behind" and "Make sure that everyone understands the lesson and subject this is the key to see success". She believes that children learn in different stages and it's important to also see understand their mood. I think philosophy that she believes are on the eight stages of Erikson's stages of personal development and Lev Vygotsky's theory. She believed that learning occurs thought help from adult.
This classroom reminded me about the Bank Street Approach class environment. This classroom is similar to the works which children are hanging in the classroom, project and the shapes which children use to help them out to count and learn the color at the same time. I believe that it was a great experience for me to observe the classroom while students are learning. I picked up so many teaching methods while I was observing Mrs.Faybyshenko's class by using simple rules or students to lead the group or the morning activity. The most important I learned that it will be not that easy to teach children so teachers should be responsible for her students and be patient to teach them.I really liked her class and the students because when in the morning I entered to their classroom they were all happy to see new person in their class and students were welcomed me with warm smile. This reaction of children was really impressive to me.
This experience of observing real classroom has truly made me realize that the teaching really is what I would like to do for the rest of my life. To see how children learn and smile makes me happy and all the hard time worth it and forget the bad things. I really want to work with children and see their development and make conversation with children makes me even happier. Although it will be hard and a lot of work, I have no doubt in my mind that teaching young children is for me and my future.