I don’t believe that it is required for the class, but I figured that for my EDU 303 (Field Placement) course, I would keep a journal, and since today was my first day, today, I wrote my first entry, and I figured, what could possibly be better to share on the blog? Surely, everyone wants to know what my very first day in the classroom with a position drastically different from that of a student was like, correct? Anyway, the following is the journal entry that I wrote today. In the future, I will simply post the entry without this introduction, but I wanted to do it this time just so that everyone reading is fully aware of what they’re reading.
I was very nervous before starting my Practicum today. I heard a fair number of people tell me that Corcoran High School is “a rough school,” and when I got to the school, I immediately noticed two police cars outside of the school. Nearly the entire population of the school is African-American, and my Practicum teacher, Barb Patapow, says that she has some students that are reading at no higher than a third grade level. She allowed me the opportunity to read some of her students’ work, and many students complained that The Tragedy of Julius Caesar was “to” difficult for them to read and even admitted that English is difficult for them as it is. What especially felt strange but invigorating about this experience is being in a classroom in which I did have some sense of authority and was not a student.
Every other Wednesday, Ms. Patapow doesn’t have any English classes in the afternoon, because Corcoran uses a Block Scheduling method, and I therefore talked with her for a great deal of time and then observed a study hall. There is little order in the study hall or in the school itself for that matter. There was a total of five students in the classroom. One girl walked past the classroom before Study Hall began, and she headed to the bathroom. She told Ms. Patapow that she was going to have a friend braid her hair. When asked if she’d be returning, the girl answered, “Maybe.” Study Hall consisted primarily of students watching the most recent Romeo + Juliet film just for the sake of it, and surprisingly, this quieted everyone, as they actually did pay attention to it. Obviously, I will have a lot more on which to comment when I actually observe an English class.