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  • 1. Jay Zion C. Guillermo EDUC 2802012-82999 TMA 1I. My Learning Intent Observation is defined by as, “to watch or be present withoutparticipating actively,” and I did that for a few weeks as the first part of my immersion as astudent teacher. Observation is what I consider as the “getting-to-know-you” period of mypractice teaching. It is where I am first introduced to my prospective pupils and it is also a timefor me to have a bird‟s eye view of the teaching-learning process and culture of the school ingeneral. I listed three aspects which I wish to observe: daily routine, classroom discipline, andpupils‟ response and participation. As I discuss each one, I‟ll also include what I expect to learn from my observations. What are the activities done daily? These are the things that I need to do everyday. It iswhat my pupils are used to. It is expected that it is the newcomer that needs to adapt to the newenvironment where he is a new inhabitant (1). Can I shatter the daily routine by introducing newactivities? Though good intention in learning is top priority, for sure there will be reluctance (2) atfirst but as long as the results and the process are going well, little by little they can adapt to it. Are pupils all behaved or are there several who distract the class? A classroom is asdiverse as how many pupils compose a class. They came from different backgrounds – families,religions, social status, etc. so I expect some clash of personalities, a variation in values andbeliefs, as well as intellectual and social differences. What is the teacher‟s role in maintainingclassroom discipline? I believe that the key to a disciplined classroom is how the teacherhandles the class. Pupils‟ Participation. What makes them participate actively and what makes thembored? As social beings, pupils react to their environment, whether verbal or non-verbal. Theyare also motivated or distracted and it depends on the teacher and how he or she implementsteaching. Are lessons teacher-centered or pupil-centered? Teachers have different styles ininstructing pupils. Activities that allow pupils to explore and experience during learning make thelessons pupil-centered (3) (4). 1
  • 2. II. My Observations Daily Routine. A typical school day starts with a flag ceremony as most schools do in ourcountry. It starts with the singing of the Philippine National Anthem, followed by the Pledges –Panatang Makabayan, Pledge to the Bible and Pledge to the Christian Flag, the singing of theSchool Hymn and a short prayer. The two latter pledges and the prayer are included as RosalesWesleyan Academy is a Christian school. An announcement from the Principal or arepresentative ends the ceremony. Afterwards, pupils and students return to their respectiverooms quietly. The class starts with a prayer led by an assigned pupil. Then, checking of assignmentsand review of the past lessons comes next. After the motivation or preliminary activities, lessonproper is delivered through lecture or discussion. Evaluation, giving of assignments andchecking of attendance come before the final activity. Just like it was started, the class endswith a prayer as well. Classroom Discipline. The pupils follow their teacher‟s orders from the start of the class,as the teacher assigns a leader to open the class in a prayer and it continues on the succeedingactivities of the day‟s lesson. Exchanging and submission of papers are announced withinstructions and raising of hands to be acknowledged is expected before pupils answer a certainquestion. The use of “Quiet!” and “shhh!” are used to stop pupils who are making noise and“Listen!” or “Eyes on the board” to get their attention. In an intermediate class, a pupil wasasked by his teacher to stand in the corner for a few minutes. He was warned twice for beingnoisy but continued to talk with his seatmate – thus he received a punishment. Pupils‟ Participation. The teacher is the one who is in-charge of the class as pupilsparticipate when called upon or asked to volunteer. Pupils‟ participation can be seen when theyare asked to read, recite and perform other activities. These are general observations but in every department (Kindergarten, Elementary andHigh School) of the school, I have different observations as well. Here they are: The kindergarten department is composed of three classes namely: Nursery, Junior Kinder and Senior Kinder. Classes are mostly like playtime as lessons are incorporated in action songs, games and sensible things found in the environment. The teachers need to attend to each pupil during seatworks to make sure the pupils are properly instructed and guided in completing the activities. The use of large visual aids, such as pictures and real colourful objects are mostly utilised, audio-visual presentations are used as well. To understand the lessons easily, the mother tongue, Ilocano, and Filipino are used with the English language as the medium of instruction for pupils. Though the pupils are 2
  • 3. playful at times, they easily behaved with just a teacher‟s command. Pupils who arebehaved and participated well during the class receive a star mark in their hands asreward.For the elementary department, I divided it into two – the primary and the intermediate.Grades 1 to 3 are the primary classes, just like the kindergarten the use of Ilocano,Filipino, and English are utilised as the medium of instruction. The start oflecture/discussion as a method of instruction is introduced gradually as songs, gamesand movements are also incorporated. Audio-visual aids are still utilised and theteacher‟s active assistance is still needed by the pupils during seatwork and otheractivities. I personally experienced this when I assisted the Grade 1 adviser toadminister the First Preliminary Test to her pupils. The intermediate classes are the“tweens” or Grades 4 to 6. English is used as a medium of instruction for most of theirsubjects and Filipino and Ilocano are utilised to aid the explanation or definition of newterminologies. Classes are mainly discussion and the use of audio-visual aids, actionsongs and games are lessened. It is also the time that pupils start to be conscious ofhow they look physically as I noticed combs and hairties on the arm chairs of some girls.They also sing, whistle or hum lines of current popular artists‟ songs when they getbored. The teacher needs more patience as pupils will reason out, justify, or rationalizewhat they do so that they won‟t be blamed for their mistakes.The high school department is composed of Grade 7 and second year to fourth yearstudents. As lessons become broader and more difficult, the teacher is primarily thefacilitator of learning, as students can perform activities on their own but still with theteacher‟s supervision. English is used in most of the subjects‟ lectures/discussions. Inaddition to combs, I also observed that after a class session, teens bring out their babypowders, pocket mirrors, hair gel and spray perfumes to fix themselves – “retouch” asterm coined for the said ritual, and probably to attract their crushes as well. The majorclass distractions include daydreaming, capturing of balls – sepak takraw and basketballto be specific, song hits and pocketbooks by the teachers, as well as buzz about theircrushes or a showbiz personality they admire or idolize, as I witnessed during myobservation of the four classes. Group activities are commonly done as each has his orher own “barkada.” Oral recitations in the same manner as arguments with the teacherare more elaborate as students have higher reasoning abilities. 3
  • 4. III. My Reflections Based on my observations of the thirteen classes in a span of three weeks, I can saythat: learners are different in every stages of life, learning is from simple to complex, and pupilsfollow authority. First, as Piaget‟s theory of cognitive development (5) reflects the learners of the differentage groups. Since they belong to the different levels, they have different abilities in behaviourand intellect, different interests and needs and as a teacher I should be available to aid theirprogress in learning and make sure that what I teach is appropriate to their intellectual and skillability. Second, easy and concrete comes first before difficult and abstract. The need to remindpupils of the basics of a certain topic will help them connect to the new lesson with their priorknowledge of the topic. When I was a student, it seemed simpler but now as a teacher,responsibilities and expectations makes it more complex but experiences and wisdom can helpme manage these multifarious undertakings. Third, pupils look up to their teachers. The teacher is considered as a second parent ofthe pupils. It is an opportunity but also an accountability to model to the youth. In line with these, here are my plans to better prepare for my practice teaching: First, is to know my pupils better. A simple greeting or smile and be familiar with theirnames could make them feel closer to me, not only inside the classroom but outdoors as well,as I meet them in the school corridors, join them during co-curricular activities and make myselfavailable for queries or assistance about their lessons. Second, learn their culture. For me, it is the main purpose of immersion as the sayinggoes “learn to teach and teach to learn.” I plan to contextualize lessons, learn what‟s “in” withmy pupils – the games they play virtually or not, shows they watch, and what interest them beincorporated as classroom activities to lessen lecture but still acquire lesson-appropriateknowledge and skills. Third, apply the facilitator teaching style. In preparation and planning of lessons, I willinclude group activities for them to experience hands-on and collaborative learning for them toalso socialize with their other classmates and not only with their peers. Fourth, give rewards to diligent and behaved pupils. As the School uses behaviourism(6) in the classroom setting I plan to give rewards in the form of stickers, giving of additionalpoints, and other gift items and hope that other pupils will be encouraged to strive to do thesame or better to receive rewards as well. In the end, it is not about the rewards that pupils 4
  • 5. receive but the change in behaviour that could possibly last not only during their schooling yearsbut also through their lifetime. Fifth, practically apply what I learned theoretically. The classroom is a venue for me toexperience actual teaching. As the term practice is placed before the word teaching, flaws orweaknesses in teaching are inevitable, exposed and experienced but with the assessment offellow teachers and school administrators, as well as reflection can help me to lessen myweaknesses and further improve my strengths by having to know what to do the next time Iexperience same situations. The focus of classroom observation is about the group of learners in different levels butfor the second (Tutor-Marked Assignment) TMA, it will highlight two individuals - the noviceteacher and an expert teacher. To improve my observation for the next TMA, I plan to do thefollowing: to observe not only what‟s felt through the senses but of conceptual observation aswell; choose important facts and eliminate those that are irrelevant; and the data gatheredshould be useful to the academic community not only on the personal reference of my teacher.References:1 Kowtha, N. R., School-to-Work Transition and Newcomer. Australia and New ZealandAcademy of Management. Journal of Management and Organization. pages 736-747.2 Wallace, R. 2007. Reluctant Learners: Their identities and educational experiences. NCVER3 Understanding the Four Teaching Styles. (accessed on June 11, 2012)4 Teaching Styles. (accessed on June11, 2012)5 Piaget‟s Theory of Cognitive Development. (accessed on July 25, 2012)6 Smith, M. K. (1999) „The behaviourist orientation to learning‟, the encyclopedia of informaleducation,, (accessed on June 4, 2012) 5
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