Personally, I believe that field experiences (practicums, pre-internship and internship) play a major role in preparing us students to become teachers. It allows us to experience first hand what being a teacher is all about. It allows us to understand how to manage a class, how to prepare and perform our lessons and have a bit of a taste of what life will be like after we graduate. “Field experience … is developmental and offers pre-service teachers an opportunity to understand theories and values in action” (UofR). We are taught so many theories, pedagogies and many other values about teaching in the classroom that our field experiences allow us to apply what we have learnt and give us a taste of what teaching is really like. From personal experience, being in front of a classroom teaching is completely different from being taught. A teacher has to plan their own lessons, be prepared to help any students in need, be prepared to face any challenges that arise in the classroom and need to be present in all situations. Field experience allows a student to realize these expectations a teacher has and if one doesn’t have the opportunity to experience this before graduating they wouldn’t know what they’re getting themselves into.
University Teacher Education Programs play an essential role in helping students become certified teachers. They provide students with different methods, standards, theories and pedagogy of teaching. It allows the students to study and learn about the different educational history, familiarize themselves with the curriculum, develop lesson plans, have an understanding of the code of ethics and the roles and responsibilities on has as a teacher. On the other hand, I believe that lectures and classes can only do so much for a student. Yes, he or she will learn many different things during their class experiences but how will they ever find out if they are beneficial if one does not get to apply it. This is where the role of field experience takes place. Students will be able to apply the knowledge they have learnt in a real world setting to understand exactly what the professors were teaching them.
Through my years of being a high school math student and then becoming a mathematics education students I have realized that math is a basic course one needs to take due to is applicability amongst other subjects and in every day life as well. People use math every day and in other subjects (especially the sciences) whether they know it or not. Reflecting on how long I have thought this I believe that this view won’t change during my pre-internship. When I was first studying math in high school, I viewed math as being a direct teacher teaching with showing multiple steps, formulas and memorization to help us come to conclusions. However, entering university and taking some EMATH classes and having experienced some field work, I am not focused on mathematics becoming a more student-centred instruction and very basic guided inquiry. I believe that it is important for me, as a future teacher, to apply this. Asking students prompting questions that can lead them to figuring out the lesson/theories themselves. Allowing them to partake in discovering what they are learning and focusing more on them rather than just lecturing them. I am, and will be, committed to my students, interacting with them and encouraging them to participate is key to building a relationship with them. Since this is something that I have developed in my experiences in my Emath classes, I believe that this is something that won’t be changing during my pre-internship. It may be challenging to execute, and who knows this may end up being changed in certain ways, but having a student-centred classroom where teaching is directed towards their involvement will be rewarding.