This week in LTIP we had a more relatively structured week in comparison to the previous two. During the week we started each day in the classroom at Glencoe, where we were paired up with another LTIP member and began discussing the State Standards of Education. These standards of education cover everything in which a teacher must have complete understanding and knowledge of before he/she becomes a teacher in a given state, in this case Minnesota or Illinois. We wrote summaries on each of the standards in our own words, by interpreting what we thought the standards meant. Then we created what is known as a “KWL” chart which is a way in which we as students discover what we already know (K) about the subject at hand, what we want (W) to know, and then what we have learned (L). We filled out the “K” and “W” portions of the KWL charts and are waiting until the end of the LTIP program to fill out what we have learned. During the classes we also received an assignment which was a paper on the history of education, where we each chose a topic on some event or person that effected education as we know it today. We had to discuss what the event or person did to impact education, and what lasting effect it has had on the educational community. Also throughout the classes we had time to reflect on what we had done in previous days, how the trip has been going for each of us individually, and our thoughts concerning the next several weeks.
After our classes which ended around 11:30 each morning, we would have lunch at Glencoe and then shortly after we would hop into the van and head out to De La Salle at St. Matthews. Once there we would each split up to our teacher that we were assigned to, and we would then assist them with anything that they needed help with, whether that was grading papers, passing out assignments, helping the children with their studies or even teaching a lesson in some cases. Many times the teacher would send us out into the gymnasium area with a small group of kids in order to work on the assignment given in class. When working with the kids we would help them with reading, writing, science, and math in many cases, often times just giving them a little bit of assistance on the homework.
During the week we learned how the teachers as well as how the school operates on a weekly basis. We were able to observe classes and take notes on classroom management skills, the subject matter being taught, instructional practices the teachers use, and most importantly how to effectively teach these young students with their different learning abilities. I think most of the learning for the members of LTIP came when we had hands-on experience and were able to work with the kids directly. We were able to get an idea of how to assist them in their learning, so that they could gain a full understanding of the material. In this way we were able to gauge where the student was in that particular area, and then assist them when they were beginning to struggle with the material.
Kory McDonald, SMU LTIP Participant