The Teacher Education Program gives beginning teachers an opportunity to engage in a dynamic and collaborative cycle of inquiry within a variety of communities, including school settings. The CSL (Community Service Learning) option allows Teacher Education candidates to appreciate and gain insight into schools and the professional communities in which they work. Some of our students shared their CSL experience during the CSL Poster Fair that was held on November 29 and November 30:
Elmwood School, Ottawa
Over the past few weeks, I had the privilege of attending Elmwood School during my CSL as a student teacher in the junior division (Grade 5). Elmwood is a local private school that is rich in adaptive expertise and collaborative inquiry. Now that I have experienced these skills in the classroom, I have begun to develop them myself. In this short time, I have grown both professionally and personally.
Lester B. Pearson High School
Four ways I contributed to my school community:
1. Building Relationships: I was so fortunate to meet so many wonderful people in my school community. From staff to students, I built many positive relationships.
2. Learning Disability Development Support: I played many games and taught small groups in my learning disability development group. Now I also tutor one of these students after school.
3. Spelling Bee Club: I am organizing the spelling bee. We practise at lunch on Wednesdays and the competition will be in March.
4. Teaching math and science:
Math: I taught lessons on patterning and subtraction/addition to groups of students who need math support but didn’t have IEP’s
Science: I taught a unit on sundials and a couple of coding lessons to the Grade 6 class.
Six lessons I learned during my CSL:
- Solve problems as a team
- Be authentic to earn respect
- Embrace technology
- Plan ahead
- Be adaptable
- Take everything together
Alta Vista Public School
In Ms. Spanglet’s science class, we conducted all kinds of experiments! During my CSL, we created water bottle ecosystems, spent time in the lab mixing solvents and solutions, created biomes and presented them to the class, and much more. The students are always interested in their tasks and Ms. Spanglet is an excellent leader. Her teaching style is authoritative yet still friendly. She frequently jokes with the students and participates in their silliness; however, she is very keen on making sure the silliness does not interfere with their work. I have learned a lot from watching her lead her classroom and I am eager to learn more during practicum!
St. Paul Catholic High School
I was very busy during my CSL placement, doing too many things that I couldn’t include on the poster board, but one of my favourite aspects was participating in a special education classroom. It was totally out of my comfort zone and something that I had absolutely no idea about, and yet I after spending time in this classroom, I think I may have found my calling: I want to be a special education teacher now.
Another great experience was literacy prep marking. Teachers conduct a literacy practice test before the actual literacy test so that students get a feel for what the literacy test is really like. I was fortunate to mark the literacy prep test, which I considered a very valuable experience. Now that I know what goes into the literacy test, I will be able to use the marking techniques I’ve learned in my classroom.
Watch the video for more student testimonials!