I have officially spent six weeks in the pre-K classroom at MJ Coldwell elementary school. As the weeks progress, I continue to strengthen my relationships with my students and discover more about each individual and how they learn. Learning through play is highly encouraged in the classroom and although there isn’t an abundance of structured lessons being taught, every day I see the kids exploring new things and learning through their imaginations. The alphabet is a main focus at the pre-K level as the students learn to recognize letters and the sounds they make and how to print their names. Miss K incorporates the student’s printed names all around the classroom to encourage them to recognize their names and students are prompted to call each other by their names to ensure they are practicing sounding out different letters. Values such as teamwork, kindness, sharing, and respect are taught in the classroom by making sure that everyone is included during play time and that the students are taking turns at the different stations. There is always something new to try which permits the students to challenge their brains and accept that change can be a good thing. The freedom of choice and the variety of options available to the students permits them to learn more about themselves as they gravitate towards different activities and use their own creative minds to discover new things.
The pre-K classroom lacks the traditional structure of a classroom but the students are still being prepared for their future schooling experiences. They are being introduced to daily schedules and routines, student-teacher cooperation and appropriate mannerism in the classroom on a daily basis. Concepts such as raising your hand if you have something to say, asking to go to the washroom or to get a drink, and sharing the supplies that belong to the classroom are incorporated into the daily learning of the students. Miss K continues to impress me by the way she encourages students to be independent and take responsibility for their decisions to ensure that they learn from their mistakes.
As part of the Regina Public School division, MJ Coldwell focuses on 7 “Big Rocks” to help increases the probability of their students being successful. They acknowledge the importance of attendance which plays a significant role in the learning process especially in the younger grades where the majority of the learning takes place through daily interactions and experiences in the classroom setting. Another “Big Rock” is the idea of having high expectations for all the students which allows the kids to be viewed as equals and know that someone believes in them to encourage them to believe in themselves. The school also values the importance of creating welcoming environments and assuring that every student feels safe and a sense of belonging when at school.
The pre-K classroom creates an atmosphere where everyone can learn from one another. As I teach students about mannerism and acceptable behaviour, they teach me to challenge my imagination and show me how everyone learns in unique fashions. I am truly enjoying my time at MJ Coldwell and I am honoured to have the opportunity to help students while experiencing the classroom setting from a teacher perspective. It amazes me to see how much my students learn each week, how much I can learn from them and how my assistance is appreciated by both the students and my fellow teaching staff.
Sincerely Miss S: a pre-K lead learner at MJ Coldwell