What an amazing first experience. Today I had my first day attending community engagement at Hills Adventist College in Kellyville. Not having much information on what the prac would entail, I woke a little nervous for the day ahead. Peers had told me both extremes of daydreams where their supervising teacher is supportive and introduces you nicely to interacting with students, yet in the last few weeks, I have also heard horror stories where uni students have been thrown in front of a chaotic class on day one! I am very pleased to say I had none of the kind. I had a very pleasant experience where the learning support teacher collected me and spend the time training me in what I would be doing in the coming weeks. This will be a mixture of helping kids in the learning support program that the school runs as well as going int the classroom to work either one-on-one with students or in little groups. I was very happy with this as I think it is a great way to be introduced to my first time in a classroom.
The essence of my time in the school was focused on Julie training me in a program used to teach students to read using phonics, called MultiLit. I immediately liked the sound of this program. Everything Julie told me made so much sense and was very interested. She spoke about how children initially learn to read through rote learning and memorising their expected vocabulary in order to read. This is commonly continued until the child is in year 3 where their expected vocabulary expands and many cannot keep up with the memorising. Due to this, parents and teacher notice kids at this level suddenly have reading difficulties. MultiLit works in rectifying this problem for kids who could not keep up with the expected reading level according to their year as well as students who have other learning or cognitive difficulties for example dyslexia.This learning program and their activities the learning support teachers implement are multisensory to allow the student to use a range of sense while learning. This increases their retention and does not focus on one way of learning, example through sight. I found this so clever and was completely shocked when I was informed learning the phonemes of words is not taught in today’s standard education. I am very eager to start working with students with this program and see the results for myself. I have very positive expectations and can’t wait for these to be confirmed.
Overall, this one short day at Hills Adventist reaffirmed the thought that I definietly want to be a teacher. Being on school grounds has a certain energy that I have loved from my very first day of kindy. I know being on the other side… the teacher side… is a huge difference, yet I can only imagine myself embracing and loving it even more so than being a student. Bring on next week! I am very grateful for such a great experience.
Sarah. Or should I say Miss Azzopardi?