Here's one last post before we head back to the icy tundra that is Decorah, Iowa:
As you all know by now, my classmates and I have spent the last three weeks working in the Gallup-McKinley county schools. Before we depart we wanted to provide you with some reflections on how our time working in the schools went for each of us, so...without further ado...here we go!
Claire Lunning - Elementary
I observed in one of the kindergarten classes at Catherine A. Miller. Overall, I really enjoyed my experience in the classroom. It was so fun to work with the students individually as well as in small groups. I also really enjoyed learning from my teacher. She is great with the students and I could tell that she truly has their best interest in mind. I am so thankful for this wonderful opportunity to be in the classroom, and I will miss my teacher and students tremendously.
Mikaela Reth- Elementary
I was placed in a second grade classroom at Catherine A. Miller Elementary. I LOVED my experience. The kids, though rowdy and out of control at times, truly made my time here wonderful. By following my teacher's example and observing the tips she gave me, I learned many new things about disciplining, how to teach to different levels, which behaviors to ignore or let fly and which to pay attention to. I will always remember my time here and am very sad to leave my teacher and our kids. I could not have asked for a better placement.
Megan Oliver - Elementary
I was placed in a 1st grade classroom. To say the least, it was very challenging. However, I learned a lot about how to discipline, manage a classroom, and how to support my students. My favorite part was when kids would yell "Miss Megan" just to show me a cool picture they drew or that they finally got a math problem right. I also spent two days in a special ed class. I really loved that experience, and I learned a lot from my teacher because she really pushed her kids to their fullest potential. I am so happy overall that I chose to come to Gallup because this was such a unique experience that I will never forget. This class reassured me that I want to teach in an elementary or special ed classroom.
Ellie Menssen - Elementary
I was placed in a 1st grade classroom as well, and the teacher and children I worked with will always hold a special place in my heart. The teacher I worked with was so inspiring to me. The way she handled her classroom, whether she was praising or disciplining the kids, taught me a lot. Being able to walk around the classroom, assisting my teacher and helping the kids, was a great way to learn more about what it will be like to one day be a teacher. Working with kids that have a very different background than myself was a great experience, and one I hope to have again.
Libby Fischer - Elementary
I was placed in a music classroom in the elementary school. The teacher I was with is so great with the kids. He knows when to be stern and also when to reward. I learned so much from him and got a lot of great ideas and materials for when I have my own classroom! I found it really fun to be in a music room. Although I don't have my "own" kids, I got to see the whole school and even more so how outside forces affect children's learning. I also loved having all the kids know me, just walking down the hallway I would get endless "Hi, Ms. Libby!" shouts. So many of these children do not have a great home life, but they have some of the biggest hearts I've ever seen. I can't wait to have my own classroom and to be able to help kids every day.
Izzy Vazquez - Middle School
I was placed in a 6th grade World History class at Kennedy Middle School. I loved my experience with the students in the classroom. They were great kids, and I'm going to miss them all! Throughout my time in my teacher's class, I learned new ways of how to be an effective teacher. Overall, I really enjoyed my time here in Gallup, New Mexico, the students really made a great impact on my life and I hope I did the same on theirs.
Lee Yuen Ching - Middle School
I was assigned to be with 6th and 7th grade Language Arts classes and I am very grateful to have my teacher as my mentor. She not only taught me a lot with her students, but also took the time to help me ask around to other teachers' classes to see if I could observe them too. I really learned a lot on what to do and what not to do when being a teacher, and it was interesting to see how each and every individual teacher dealt with their students differently. Ultimately, it comes down to finding your own teaching style. The students in my classes really impacted me, and likewise, I hope I made an impact on their lives too.
Christen Foster - High School
My experience here in New Mexico has been unlike any other. I was privileged enough to observe two teachers of amazing talent. I spent five classes of my school day with one teacher in his Physics, Honors Physics, and AP Environmental Studies classes. I was also fortunate enough to observe in another teacher's classroom for two of his Chemistry classes. I am honored to have been lucky enough to meet and work with these two wonderful educators and assist in their classes. I have made connections with the students and staff at Miyamura that I hope to never forget. My time here in New Mexico has truly touched my heart and I hope I have touched the hearts of those around me. I look forward to becoming more like the successful educators I observed as I continue on in my education to become a future educator.
Anna Ryden - High School
I absolutely enjoyed spending these past three weeks working with the students and teachers at Miyamura High. Over the course of the seven period day, I was able to observe three different teachers and their teaching styles. I spent five hours in Biology classes, I got to see a few Honors classes, a couple regular Biology classes, and some Inclusion courses. The other two class periods were spent learning about Anatomy. I had never taken an Anatomy course before, so it was fun to learn something new about the skeleton while I was here! My teachers were absolutely incredible. They all differed greatly in their teaching styles and were all happy to show me the ropes and teach me about what it is like to teach in Gallup, New Mexico. The students here are fantastic and I'm so glad that I got to spend these past three weeks getting to know them and helping them learn! I will never forget my experiences here and I hope to come back one day.
As you can tell from what is written above, everyone had a wonderful time here in Gallup. I think it's safe to say that we have all learned a lot from this trip and are also a bit torn up about leaving in the morning. The vans depart at 5:00am tomorrow as we head back to Luther! Saturday night will be spent in Witchita, KS and we should be arriving back in Decorah late Sunday afternoon.
This will most likely be our last blog post for the trip, so we hope you have enjoyed our updates, however sporadic they may have been.