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Field Notes 11- 4/30/13. Leaving my placement

mschoyer's picture


  • Today was my last visit at my placement.
  • I was very sad going in, as I have been with the students for a whole year and feel very close to many of them.
  • When I arrived, I gave my mentor teacher a gift (a card and a bracelet), and she also gave me something in return (a card and a small bottle of perfume).
    • I thought it was important to show my appreciation in some way. “Nina” has hosted me for about eight months now.
      • I know it can be hard for teachers to have observers and guests in the classroom, but Nina never made me feel like a burden. She made my transition from observing to helping to teaching very seamless.
      • If anything, she constantly told me how much she loved having me in the class and appreciated my help.
      • Nina also gave me a set of cards from all the students that they made they day before.
        • Nina obviously put a message on the board while they were making them, as most of the cards said “We will miss you! You are so nice! Thank you for teaching us.”
        • Some of the cards had extra messages on them, and all the students had drawn pictures.
        • My first group of students was first graders.
        • When they arrived at the classroom, I made sure to thank them for the cards they made me and also explain to them how much I loved them.
          • They were very excited to tell me which one was their’s, why they drew what they did, etc.
          • Many of the students asked me, “Why do you have to leave?” “Why are you going to Washington?” “Can’t you stay?” “I wish you didn’t have to leave.”
            • It was hard to explain to the students that I was a student as well, and I was graduating college. To them, I was just a teacher.
              • Hearing their questions was difficult. I wish I could stay with this set of students longer.
              • I imagine teachers feel this way often when school years end, students move, new ones come, etc.
              • I read these students two stories- one that Nina and I had planned for, and one that the students requested           
                • Usually we read one and then do a writing activity, but today Nina let the students choose how they wanted to spend their last day with me.
                • We ended the day with “Simon Says”- another student request.
                • After first grade, I had second graders.
                  • The second graders asked questions much like the first graders, and seemed sad.
                  • We also read a book, and then followed it with some free play. The kids and I threw around beach balls (in our very tiny classroom) and played with instruments.
                  • These students also chose how they wanted to spend time with me.           
                  • I had Kindergarten (and one third grader who worked independently) at the end of the day.
                    • I saw Kindergarten and this particular third grader a lot less than my other students, so I didn’t feel as close to them/it wasn’t as difficult to leave them.
                    • On the way out, my mentor teacher gave me very encouraging words, and asked me to please stay in touch.

Today was a very difficult day. Each time I walked the students back to their classrooms, I received hugs, and most of the students told me that they would miss me. I told them how much I would miss them as well, and I truly will. It’s hard knowing that I most likely will not see most (or all) of these students again. Although I have completed field placements before, this was the first time that I was actually teaching, and I also grew closest to this group of students. As ELL students, they sometimes face academic struggles. I saw this mostly in students who were new this year, and also through students who arrived mid-year. What has been more notable, however, is the progression I’ve seen. I have confidence, however, that my students will continue to progress. I have faith in the district they’re part of, and the teachers within their school. I hope many of them stay within that district though. I worry about them moving to a district that is not as supportive. I would hate to see their progression stop.

I had such a positive experience this year. I will always remember this group of students, and I will value what I learned from them. I can only hope that they learned as much from me.