Our last day of class observation has come and gone. 30 hours of K-12 class observation under our belts. Looking back on the past week I did not know how the class would end. It had been a rollercoaster of laughing and professionalism and overall block pandemonium. We spent week 3 doing more of the same class schedule. The biggest part of the week was that we had to end our time in our K-12 classrooms. For my fellow classmates, their students gave them notes and big hugs. This block has been so special and nostalgic. Going back to school for 7 hours a day took a toll on our energy, but I know for each of us it was an irreplaceable experience. We each created a bond with our host teachers.
For me, I appreciated being able to be part of the Colorado Springs community and learning about the city I have begun to call my home. The school district we were in is not based on the location of their house but instead where their parents want to send their children. Compared to my hometown, this is different because parents can choose which school is best for their children. One of my projects in class was to lead a discussion on the debate around school choice. School choice is when parents choose where they live to determine what public schools they will send their child to. Furthermore, it is linked deeply with socio-economic privilege because people with more money have more options of where they can afford to send their kids beside the neighborhood public school. This class has linked discussion and reading learning to experiential learning. In more ways than just observing what teachers do, we are learning how schools and school districts work and what that means for children’s learning and education opportunities.
The class was also a reflection based class. We spent many discussions in class talking about our own educational experiences. We talked about what types of schools we went to, how our teachers were, and all the contours of our educational experiences. I valued these discussions because I was able to reflect on the system I spent most of my life in so far. My educational experience shaped who I am and lead me to CC. Discussing our school lives also bonded us more as a class for we were sharing about experiences that shaped who we show up to class as today. When I was sitting in on classes, I spent much of my time observing the children and how they interacted with the classroom structure. I saw myself in many of the children and I began to connect who I was as a child to who I am now. Through the observations, I saw my growth from an introverted and socially anxious child to a confident college student. Making those connections for myself made me see how these children are going to learn so much in elementary school and learn way more when they grow up. I was seeing the importance of a productive education system to educate children and let them grow as people.
We all need space to learn and grow into who we are meant to be. This education class taught me so much about how beneficial experiential learning is and how looking at other K-12 educational experiences can help me understand learn about my own experiences. I was taken full circle and given space to make connections between educational philosophy and my own educational experiences. The block plan has provided me with so many special learning opportunities and this class is in the top 3 incredible ones, behind going on a hike and talking about existential philosophy. I would take this class over and over again if I could.