Another interesting part of the presentation today was the questionnaire we filled out concerning how prepared we felt from the information we received in our on-campus education courses and how important these factors were in practicum.
To be honest, aside from a handful of skills that could have been taught more in depth, I felt fairly prepared for my practicums – as prepared as you can be with little actual field experience. There are definitely some things that need to be learned out in the field; however, having the information given to us in class was very helpful. I might not have felt completely confident in all of these areas entering the school but I knew that I would learn what I needed to through experience.
It seems as though a lot of people in the class felt underprepared in areas such as establishing rapport with students, developing interpersonal human relationships with peers and superiors, and working with parents. Touching on these issues in class is helpful, however, I don’t know if these skills can necessarily be taught. It has a lot to do with personality and life experience. As we progress with our careers, we will become increasingly confident in these important skills.
One skill that I had not really considered was number 16 – Understanding the changing nature of pupils’ families. This is something that is becoming very prominent. Many children are living in single parent homes or have parents who are divorced. There can be some very touchy issues there and this seems important to talk about before actually experiencing it. In my PSI experience, I had twins in my Grade 2 class whose parents were divorced. The parents did not get along at all, tried to turn their children against the other parent, blamed the other parent when the children came to school unprepared, and demanded separate parent/teacher interviews because they could not be in the same room. My TA was awesome when dealing with this situation but it really scared me because I would not know how to deal with this at all. It was helpful that I got to experience this. Maybe I will feel a little more prepared if I encounter this in my career.
I learn through experience. I don’t necessarily need all of the theories and strategies. A lot are VERY helpful don't get me wrong but putting them into practice is the most important. I think that this is why the U of L is often held above other Universities - because we get a lot of great field experience. All of our work here will be worth it!