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Lacey Miller

Educ-1301.200
4/25/16

Observation Reflection Paper


I had to opportunity to observe Mrs. Wests kindergarten classroom at Lamar Elementary
for 16 hours. Prior to my observation, Kindergarten was my first choice as a future teacher.
Completion of my early field experience has confirmed that kindergarten is still the grade I
would prefer to teach, but my time at Lamar Elementary has taught me that every grade has its
positive and negative qualities. Kindergarten was my original choice because the students are
still really little, they dont have to participate in the state regulated testing, and I was under the
impression that they were allotted more time to focus on social development as well as their
academic advancements. The time I spent observing showed me that my perspective may be out
dated.
Although these students were only 5 to 6 years old, they were expected to sit still and
quiet the majority of the day. I noticed this was not only hard for the students to accomplish, but
also put more stress on the teacher. She had to spend so much of her teaching time addressing
behavioral issues. My theory is that this is due to the changes the education system has
experienced. Students, even as young as kindergarten, are being stripped of their social and
emotional needs in an attempt to meet their educational needs. They are no longer able to take
naps during the day. The negative effects of this change were apparent around 1:00 pm when
several of the students were no longer engaged in their learning and were being told repeatedly to
sit up and not lay on the carpet. GISD, as well as many other school districts, have also decided
to take away center-time and replace it with educational materials. This sounds like a good

idea on the surface, but many of the students were not using the materials correctly and were not
learning the intended lessons from these centers. Their behavior resulted in the teacher having to
reprimand the students even more. This caused me to wonder if these kids are just too young to
not have nap time or play time. Despite the behavioral issues within this grade level, watching
them learn new things was really amazing. The students seemed so fascinated with everything
because almost everything they learn is brand new to them. This is one of the reasons I love
interacting with children of this age group and even younger.
I learned several teaching techniques from Mrs. West that Im eager to implement into
my lesson planning in the future. She would call a group of about 5 students to work with her on
reading while the other students participated in academic centers amongst themselves. This
allowed her to work one on one with each student to make certain they were succeeding with
their reading accomplishments. She also sat on the carpet with the students while teaching other
lessons. This seemed to hold the students attention well, so I will try this in my class as a
teacher.
Teaching kindergarten is still my first choice, but I would enjoy teaching older grades as
well now that I realize higher grade levels may not have the challenge of having to teach the
children how to be good students. Although kindergarteners are still sweet, little, and precious, it
seems to be difficult to ensure that each student is behaving as they are expected while also
trying to teach. My mentor teacher exhibited flawless patience with the students and seemed very
experienced with her profession, yet even she was unable to make every student cooperate all the
time. I am appreciative of this opportunity I had to observe in a classroom because it taught me
that other grade levels could possibly be fun and fulfilling through having the option to teach
children who are older and more adapted to participate in a classroom.