Do you hear that? The sound of sweet freedom? With 2 weeks left, the time is now to reflect on one of my best practicum experiences.
Madonna Catholic Secondary School was my final placement, in which I was fortunate to teach health and physical education. Yes I know, the dream! Despite me living in Vaughan, Madonna is located at Keele and Wilson, as I chose the TCDSB as my board of preference for this placement. Why you ask? Well, every placement I put in an active effort to switch boards, that way I can get a bit of experience in each board and make a somewhat informed decision about which one I'd like to work in one day. I was extremely nervous going into this placement, as Madonna Catholic Secondary School is an all girls school, and I did not know whether or not I'd fit in.
This placement turned out to be one of my favourites. The staff is an absolute dream team, as everyone there was extremely open and welcoming. I was placed with the legend himself, Mr. Lio, and he taught me the ways of the phys-ed masters. He taught me different ways of facilitating student success in areas of sport, allowing me to help students maximize their participation. Most importantly, he taught me how to empower students in the phys-ed classroom, which in turn increased their buy in and interest in physical activity (the ultimate goal given the benefits of physical activity on the human body).
It was definitely a switch up to be teaching an all girls population, but it turned out to be an excellent experience. The students were all wonderful, and despite disruptions arising every once and a while, these disruptions were never overwhelming and could easily be diffused to maintain a conducive classroom learning environment. On the final day, my associate teacher organized the students and pulled them out in groups to sign a thank you card.
I was surprised to receive a mini ceremony in my last period class, where students from first period even joined in to present me with the card. High key, my eyes got very very very watery and emotion overtook me. I gave a thank you speech and we continued with our KIN Ball festivities. Side note: If you do not know what KIN ball is, I advise you to search it up so that you can be fulfilled with the sense of absolute awesomeness (seriously, head to youtube now!).
The only problem I found at Madonna was the lack of resources, particularly in health and physical education. For example, instead of each student having a European handball for shooting drills, we had to make due with just 4 handballs amongst a class of 24. A difficult task to say the least. HOWEVER, in my opinion, a lack of resources makes you a better teacher. You find out different and effective ways to make something out of nothing, and that is an indispensable ability in our field!
If you land a placement at Madonna Catholic Secondary School, consider yourself lucky because you basically just won the lottery. Critics give it a 10 out of 5 stars! Relish every moment and enjoy it, because it will be finished sooner than you could imagine.
- Jordan Guerrero Martinez
Student Teacher of the Ages | Believer in the Students | Fosterer of the Best Self