Today’s post is from Mercedes Vega, a resident blogger for the TU Office of Admission. Mercedes is a senior Education major from Surprise, AZ.
As an education major going into my senior year, the dream summer job would be something that let me work with kids, especially in a school setting. While I was completing classroom observations this past semester, I was able to learn about Camp Incredible. Camp Incredible is a summer camp opened to elementary students and is comprised of six one-week camps. I was given the opportunity to work there as a teacher’s assistant for all six weeks of camp. I can’t imagine a more perfect summer job!
The first week of camp just finished, and I spent my time with pre-kindergarten and first-grade students. For an entire week we were part of the Dragons and Princesses class disguised as a music session. There was a performance at the end of the week for other students at camp, as well the kids’ parents. The performance was on Friday and throughout the week we made a series of crafts so by the time all the kids were standing in front of their audience they were decked out in crowns, princess necklaces, and knight swords. Continue reading
Spring semester is my favorite semester; the weather is getting warmer, summer break is approaching, and campus is a fluster of activity. I live in the all-freshman hall, Fisher South, and the programs that this building is responsible for in the spring are some of the most enjoyable. The Fisher South Hall government has kept busy all year and this week it hosted the second annual Fisher South Awards.
Fisher South hall government 2014-2015.
The Fisher South Awards is a night to be a little sentimental and reflect back on the year as a whole. A ballot sent out to the entire building with over 40 awards for which residents could nominate their friends, or sometimes themselves. These awards include categories such as “Best Bromance,” “Best Dancer,” “Best Couple that Never Was,” “Most likely to Start a Fire,” and “Biggest Gamer.” With so many categories, there was an abundance of nominations. A final ballot was created so students could vote on their favorites. Within two days, half of the building residents had sent in their votes. Everyone was talking about it!
The lobby of Fisher South was transformed into a venue fit for a prestigious awards show…red carpet and all.
As an elementary education major, there are required methods courses that we typically take during junior year. These courses explore methods, hence the name, that are most effective when teaching elementary students. I am in my last methods courses now which cover literacy assessments, writing and language development, mathematics, and science. Last semester, I took a reading methods class as well as social studies.
One of the main goals of the methods course is to prepare us before we go into our full semester of student teaching. For the past two semesters I have spent at least four hours a week in an elementary classroom. So far, I have observed in a third grade class, a collaborative first and second grade class, and now I am currently in a kindergarten class.
I have been very fortunate to have wonderful field experiences each semester with teachers ready to pour all of their knowledge into me. Not only do I get to observe classrooms and teaching methods, but I also get to teach lessons myself. This helps to prepare us before we go into a full semester of student teaching. Getting to spend a day implementing what we learn in our classes, with real students, is not only beneficial to our learning, but it gives us all something to look forward to each week.
In addition to going into classrooms, I also get the chance to tutor a student one-on-one each week for our Literacy Assessment class. This gives us more opportunities to practice writing lesson plans and to assess a student’s reading level. Even better, it gives us a chance to spend more time with incredibly cute kids.