I went to Henry Braun school for the first time on 10 October 2018. Me and my partner met in the main office where we handed in our paperwork and were introduced to our coordinating teacher, Linda Carteri. She was a young woman, who had been an elementary teacher for the fourth year in a row. She commented on how when she was going through University, there was only a pre-intern and internship program so she was new to the field experience aspect. Her and the school were very welcoming and warm. The halls of the school were filled with crafts and bulletin boards, and the halls were colour coordinated for different grades. We were led down the yellow hallway for grades two to five and into our coordinating teachers’ classroom.
Mrs. Carteri decorated her classroom herself, and explained the different works as we walked around the classroom. She had a large bulletin board with multiple folders posted on it, each with a different child’s name on it. On the board read, “Showcase Your Amazing Work!’. She explained that each child had work they were proud of and the cover with the name was meant for some form of confidentiality. Mrs. Carteri ran a grade four classroom with a couple of grade threes in it, so there was a large range of levels in learning. The desks for the students were not uniform, some faced each other while others faced the board. All of the desk had name tags, as well as math and language keys. There was a row of yellow lockers in the back which the students shared with each other. Then the bell rang and the students started to pour in.
I’ve haven’t been in an elementary school in years and was not expecting them to be so small, although their height range varied greatly among them. They were all dressed in winter clothes that they put inside the lockers, and then changed into inside shoes. They were also aware that we were coming. Mrs. Carteri had us introduce ourselves, and told the students to behave while we were there, “Don’t scare them away from teaching” she warned them. It was quite the opposite though, as they were a very well-behaved classroom. The first block of the morning was devoted to reading and writing. The students had fifteen minutes of quiet reading and then some time in reading with partners. I walked around the classroom, noticing the variations among their reading levels. There was a lot of graphic novels, a lot of picture books stating jokes and facts, and even some elementary chapter books. After reading, was a writing test which was different depending on which grade level the students were in.
The grade three students had to write about whether they were “for or against recess”, while the grade four students wrote about a trip that they took. I walked around the classroom and heard about trips to California and Disneyland, while making small talk about favorite colours and school subjects. It was different from my experience in elementary school, but in a good way. The school was well funded, and the children looked happy. There was an additional teacher in the classroom to help the children who needed some extra support. The students seemed well rounded and supported. Altogether I felt comfortable and welcomed in the classroom and the school. It was a very good first experience of what it may be like to be a teacher.