Urban Studies Paper on Field Experience Paper

Field Experience

Teacher preparation programs give students an opportunity to become effective successful educators in the classroom, both elementary and secondary. The programs provide teachers and students opportunities to acquire critical skills essentials in teaching all types of children with diverse learning needs and deficiencies. The programs also build on latest research evidence on the best practices and challenges teacher and administrators face on the ground. In essence, the programs adopt a personal direction to delivering the highest quality of education teacher students. Thus, I am currently at the level of elementary education. The elementary education teacher prep programs focus on training teachers to become K-8 professionals. The programs keep us well adequately acquainted with all the subject disciplines besides requiring that that we undertake an internship in the fifth year which I am currently on at the organization. This is partly the reason why I attended Dr. Kelly’s class of introduction to special population.

Although much has been documented about the best approaches and skills to teach children with autism spectrum disorder, real life experiences of the subjects in the real world offers the best opportunities for learning the essential skills to handle these population comprised of children with unique behaviors and characteristics. In essence, service learning is a tool that places students from classroom setting to community context to allows to apply concepts learned in class to real life situations at the same provide community service. Thus, this is some form of reciprocal experience for learning allowing the students to learn while in the setting of a community organization. This way, service learning would not only benefit student by allowing them to acquire the essential skills in tackling isolated cases of students with developmental challenges, but also the community recipients; such that, each should learn from the other.

Theoretically, the fact that people learn effectively in the field through observation and practice rather than being recipient of unstructured instructions in classroom setting constitutes the basis for service learning. In this vein, being an active participant in the process of learning and then having a critical reflection on the activities and our observation during a session would help teacher students on placement internalize various concepts and skills needed for effective teaching. Thus, to capitalize on the placement, I must actively participate in the service work to help me draw lessons from the experience I would gain performing the service work. Beside the service works provides me with an opportunity to learn concerning the setting in which the service is provided and the relationship between the service and my academic course work and professional development (King, n.d.). According to King (n.d.), service learning would provide me with many benefits, such as learn social responsibility and citizenship skills, give my talents and time back to the community, and develop work ethics. Other advantages of participating in service learning include developing awareness of civics, trying the concepts learned in classroom in real life situation. Also, I expect to develop program skills, improve my personality, and improve in terms of academics.  Career wise, I would have developed contacts with important personalities in the area of practice and employment prospect (King, n.d.). Equally the same, I would gain experience essential for work.

I chose this community organization because it constitutes the best context for learning the skills to teach and deal with ADS children. I liked the way the teachers used the strengths of different students to let them learn. For example, teacher provided all the resources necessary for Adam to learn because he preferred to use Ipad to communicate. So, the teacher provided the best support to facilitate his learning.

The way the teacher handle a problematic student stood out for me. After seeing a student beating another, the teacher responded by taking her out and asking her whether she would like to be let back in or remain outside. I believe that response helps students to understand they are responsible for their development and achievement as learners. This experience was very powerful and affected me personally and my teaching philosophy. The experience challenged me to revise my teaching philosophy of a teacher as the main determinant of the learning of children. I appreciated the importance of allowing students to take responsibility of their learning.

The service learning project provides me with deeper understanding of the curriculum and how to facilitate their learning progress. The project particularly showed me that teachers can themselves learn from their subjects by observing them performing specific functions. I would recommend this type of service learning experience for other students, teachers and professors. In my opinion, service learning experience gives the best setting for these groups to learn firsthand skills for dealing with children with ASD.

In conclusion, service learning provides a platform for teacher students to experience concepts learned in classroom and acquire crucial skills to teach effectively in classroom comprised of students with diverse learning strengths and weakness. At the organization I got to learn from people with many years of experience dealing with students with different developmental and learning challenges. What stood out the most from the experience is that I should see students as who they can be as opposed to who they currently are.

 

References

King, R. M. (n.d.). Student packet for service learning . Retrieved November 19, 2017, from https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj0–yG9cnXAhXEWhQKHbhIBxMQFgg9MAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.psyking.net%2FHTMLobj-3444%2FStuPacket.SL04.pdf&usg=AOvVaw04s773aaRyS-WOY1Buw6Cv