I chose to do my field experience in Garland ISD at Freeman Elementary school. It’s located off of Walnut near Garland rd in Garland, Texas. I wasn’t sure what to expect, since this is my first time observing in a classroom. The Asst. Principle placed me in two different classes. They were both a bilingual, but one was second grade and the other one was fourth grade. I decided to learn how teachers communicate with the parents of the students that are in their class. Establishing this type of communication is a very important part in making sure the students are doing their best in school and at home.
The communication that both of the teachers have with their classes are similar. The school provided an agenda/spiral for the whole school for the students to use during the year. In this agenda the students write down their homework assignments and the teacher’s are able to write down any notes to the parents and vice versa. The agenda is supposed to be signed everyday by the parents and returned everyday to the teacher. This is their main way of communicating with the parents, but not the only. The teachers also make phone calls to the parent’s when needed. Both of the teachers have a contact list of all the students near their phones. The second grade teacher also send’s home a list of the child’s grades for each subject each week attached is the assignments they did. If the child did below 70 they are supposed to correct it with their parent and return it to class the following day signed by the parent. The other way they communicate with their parents are in person either before or after class or during their conference time during school hours but neither one of these teachers communicate through e-mail. Almost all of the parents of their students don’t have or use a computer. The school also send’s home a Thursday folder that includes any announcements from the school or any important information in general.
During the three day’s I observed in the classrooms was a fun experience. I was able to see how the children interact while they are learning. Since I was in school I found that the school is using more technology in their classrooms. The second grade class was able interact with each other and telling the teacher the answer and asking questions as a group. The other two days that I observed were in the fourth grade bilingual class. This class was a very small class only eleven students were in it. While they were learning and reviewing material they used a game from the internet similar to Jeopardy. It was something fun, but also interacting together while reviewing their science material. On my last day while I was observing the teacher had the students go over their writing composition of their TAKS test. They sat in a group on the floor while each one read aloud to the class. Then, students made a positive comment and something they found wrong or something they could improve. Also, another way the teacher had them review was when they had a restroom break. While in line the teacher would ask the multiplication problems while standing in line. I saw that the class was traditional style and constructivist style of teaching. I believe it was more constructivist than traditional. The children did a lot of interacting with each other and with the teacher also.
When my observation was done I was able to see how the classroom is such a different experience as from when I was in school. I also realized that the communication between the teacher and parents are really basic when it comes to the students in the bilingual class. I know it’s not for everybody, but it is for the majority. They use more written notes, phone calls or before/after school quick conversations. The district requires at least one type of conference with the parents every six weeks. I liked how the second grade teacher sent home a weekly grade for each subject including the work for her students. I think having a parent and the child review the work and send it back corrected is a good idea. That helps the student and parent have more interaction and insuring they work together. There was one thing that I thought of while speaking with the fourth grade teacher that I suggested to her. Since I’m going to be a bilingual teacher and a lot of the parents don’t speak, read, or write English I find this could be difficult for them to help their child with their homework that is in English. I suggested to her that sending home instructions translated in Spanish to assist the parents if there are any questions from their child. I want the child to have that help at home too and I realize that if the child doesn’t understand something it will be difficult for a parent to help if they don’t understand themselves because of the language.
Through personal experience I hope this will aide me in being a better teacher for the students and providing the parents with adequate information so they can also help their child during the school year while in their in my class. Since there is so much diversity in schools and the programs they have for students learning two languages we need to also think about the parents of those children from a foreign country who don’t know English.