One thing I’m very thankful about the practicums at Stenberg is that the school helped us out with the scheduling of the practicums. They asked us which preschools or childcares we would like to go to and they were the ones making the phone calls and finding us a place to do our practicums. I think that is very helpful, instead of us having to do all those phone calls, we were able to focus in other things, like making resources.
This is where the resources that we did, that have taken most of our time, are used. For our practicum we need to plan all these activities and try them with the children. Of course before doing the activities with the children, the activities that were planned, have to be pre-approved by the teacher supervisor of the school you’re doing your practicum. She will be the one to tell you if the activities that you planned are good for the children in terms of development, if it’s good for the 3 years old or for the 4 years old, if they are capable of doing the activities or if they are too hard for those ages or too easy. Once she approves the activities then you are able to implement them, then once you get to try them with the children, then you can evaluate if the activity was good, easy to do, or too messy or just an activity that was fun. So at the end of each activity, you are able to evaluate every resource and all of the materials you have planned in putting to the test.
I think for me, the first practicum was a little scary. I just didn’t exactly know what was going to be expected of me and if I was going to be able to accomplish all the goals and activities we set to do every day and how I was going to put them to the test. I didn’t know what the teacher supervisor was expecting to see. I had to put into practice everything I learned throughout the year. But once I started my practicum, all the scary thoughts I had were gone and the teacher supervisor was awesome, giving me great feedback. That helped me do things better and made me aware of other ones that I had to work on harder. I think practicums are a lot of work but also a great experience. You get the real feel, as if you were working or as if this was your full time job. You get to know how things work in the childcare and/or preschool and you get to work with people that you have never worked before, just as if you were starting a new job. At the same time you have to be prepared to work with people with different ideas and different ways of doing things, so at times it gets a little tricky and confusing but nothing major, it’s a challenge. I would say it’s a good experience. Then being just the practicum and not a real job (yet) you get to ask your teacher for help, you can go to her for any question you would have related to the practicums and at the same time, she can help you out about any activity, so you won’t be alone on this, you will have plenty of support.