Teaching Practice at a Bilingual School – Last Week

Monday
Juf A. was ill today, so a substitute teacher was in class with me. I saw this on the board in the teacher’s room when I got in in the morning. I am always present about half an hour before the children get in, so I went to class to look at today’s schedule and to think about what we could easily do today without preparation. I looked at this week’s goals and they were kind of difficult to do something with. I asked the teacher from another KG class and she told me that from both goals, there was no game present to check their skills with. It had something to do with planning, so she would use the choosing board for this. The choosing board is a board with pictures of activities on like the Ipad, K’nex, the building corner. The children can put their name card below one of the activities. There are a certain amount of boxes for the names below each activity. For instance in the building corner, there can only be two children so only two boxes are below that activity.
Juf W. came in. She told me that I knew the children better than she did so she would follow my lead. I loved this day, I felt like a real teacher! Without preparation, I did circle time. Monday is the easiest day to do this without having something prepared because there are standard things to be done on Mondays, like Flip the Bear and ‘stapperdestap’. I started with explaining why juf W. was here today instead of juf A. I choose to do the activity now that the other KG teacher also uses for this week’s goal. I asked the children things like ‘How many children can play with the doll house at the same time?’ and ‘What do we do today after playing outside?’ (They can see this on the planning cards of today). Next, I read the story of Flip from last weekend and I closed the circle time with stapperdestap.
Time to work. I let the children choose first so that I could look up something to do with them. I thought about doing an activity with group 1 that matched their goal, which was planning. I wanted to look up pictures from daily activities like showering, sleeping, eating lunch. Juf w. told me that she couldn’t print with her account and couldn’t copy either. I chose to draw all the activities as it wasn’t that hard. Some of the children came to look at me as I sat on one of their tables. This was very helpful as I could ask them if they could see what I was drawing, so I knew if it was clear enough, which it was. I went to another class to ask the teacher there if I could borrow her key for copying. I copied it for every group 1 child and asked them one at a time what they did first. As every child has a different daily routine, it was necessary to sit with them as they pasted it on the paper.
The rest of the day was playing inside and outside. It was a very fun day!

Wednesday
Wednesday would be the last ‘normal’ day, as tomorrow there would not be any lessons and Friday the school is closed. In the afternoon, I stayed at school because in the evening we had a Christmas dinner with the children. There were a lot of things to do like putting works of the children in their folder, tidying up the classroom and making the classroom Christmas dinner ready. Everyone was expected to be at school around 16.30h. All the children came in in their nicest outfits, they looked so cute in their suits and dresses! When everyone was present, the children of group 8 came to collect one of the Kindergartners to walk to church with. The church is next to the school so we walked over a candlelit path to the church. Songs were sang and stories where told about Christmas. Back at school, it was time to eat. Every parent brought some homemade food. We had a very nice dinner together with the children and the three class-parents.
To my surprise, at the end of the dinner, juf A. and miss P. thanked me for a wonderful time and they had some presents for me, made together with the children. I received an English children’s book, a framed picture of me and my mentor standing in front of the class and my very own friends book. All the children wrote things about themselves in here. I was so happy with this present!

Thursday
The last day, we had a toy-morning. All the children could bring their own toys. When they came in in the morning, they first had to put their toys in the corner and play with school’s toys on the table. Around 9 o’clock, we did circle time. I asked my mentor if this would be a good time for me to say something to the children. Because of course, I also had presents for them. I bought an English book because I know these are scarce in the class and clay in different colours. I asked the children what we could absolutely not do when we have multiple colours of clay. They instantly knew to not mix the different colours. The funny thing about the English books is that both the book I got from them and the book I have to them were the same kind of books. With both books, you can put your finger through the whole on each page and use it as a character in the book.

I have the experience to never really feel when the end of teaching practice is near. But this teaching practice was different. This week really felt like a last week. You’re kind of living towards the end due to Christmas and the holidays, where all the children and staff are looking forward to. I really had a wonderful time here and learned a lot the past 8 weeks. Thanks everyone for a great time!

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