Throughout the semester, we were required to complete many different tasks from reading chapters and writing reflections to completing fieldwork hours to writing a case study. Looking back, it seems like I learned more on my own than I did in the actual class. We would occasionally have a discussion about a topic in the class, but I felt like I taught myself on my own time, rather than coming to class to learn. This could be both a negative and positive factor. I like that I was responsible for some of my own learning so I could focus on the topics that intrigued me. It made the class interesting and seemingly worthwhile. On the other hand, I wish that we would have had more instruction, class activities, or discussion about topics that we need to know about or that are really important. This would have helped cover any topics that we may have otherwise skipped over so that we don’t miss out on important information.
A unique factor to this class that none of my other classes have done is to create this blog to post homework assignments and reflections. At first, I was very opposed to this idea since I like to be able to have paper in front of me, but I tried to go into it with an open mind. For some of the assignments the blog proved helpful and more convenient such as the chapter reflections and fieldwork reflections. For others, the blog seemed to just create more busy work such as for the unit and case study. I would have especially like to turn in a hard copy of these instead of the on the blog so that I can get feedback throughout the assignment, rather than just a couple comments about the assignment as a whole. All in all, the blog was a good experience so I can be familiar with how to start and maintain one, but I would not prefer to use this for a class in the future.
My fieldwork experience was fairly good for this class. I got to see a lot of strategies about helping struggling readers and writers, especially in the teacher consultant classroom. The school was very diverse and in the fourth grade classroom alone students ranged over four or five grade levels in reading. This experience opened my eyes to how diverse a classroom can be. Although it was good for me to have this experience, I wish I could have been placed in a Lutheran or at least a private school. I am getting my Lutheran Teacher Diploma so I plan to teach in Lutheran schools once I graduate. Lutheran school typically do not have funds to have pull out services and extra help for struggling readers so I would have liked to see how teachers in Lutheran schools handle and balance the work for struggling readers that stay in the classroom all the time.
Finally, what I liked most about this class was that it was set up in a way that we could align all of our assignments to one overarching topic or concept. I was able to do research about reading comprehension, implement some of the research into my unit, work with a child struggling with comprehension so I could use part of my unit with her, and then build a case study around that child. In a lot of classes, you do research about a topic and that’s the end of it. In this class, I was able to take it a step further and actually put my research findings into practice, which I found very beneficial.