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Griselda Alvarado

LBS 300

Reflective Essay

12/13/16

Fieldwork at Lugo Elementary

My early fieldwork experience gave me the opportunity to put into practice what I

learned in the classroom. The supervising teacher, Mr. Sergio Brito, set a great example for me to

follow. He works determinedly at Lugo Elementary with his 6th grade class, the principal, Ms.

Dionne Garner, and the staff to improve their 3-year average API score of 713. The school is

located near busy cross streets by the 710 freeways in the city of Lynwood. It is near Imperial

Highway and Atlantic Blvd. behind a busy shopping center. In the shopping center, there is a

Starbucks, a McDonalds, a KFC, and a Mexican grocery store along with other small businesses.

This city is comprised of mostly working class Latinos. According to the 2014-2015 School

Accountability Report Card (SARC), the school was considered 93.9% socioeconomically

disadvantaged student population. Fast food restaurants and poor air quality from the heavy

traffic surround the children in this school everyday. The school itself is very small and has a

poor school facility overall rating. It has 429 students enrolled and 22 fully credentialed

teachers. Hispanic/ Latino children make up 94.4% of the student population with 53.8%

identified as English learners. According to Mr.Brito, most children are bilingual and very few

parents speak English. African American students make up 3% of the student population and

other race/ethnicities comprise less than 3% combined. Although the school has an afterschool

program, Mr. Brito claims that it is poorly organized and very few students attend. Additionally,

the school does not have a Parent Teacher Association (PTA). The lack of resources is evident in
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the schools CAASPP Report. In grade 3, only 10% met the Math standard and 19% met the

Language Arts standards. In grade 5, 13% of students met the Math standard and 19% met the

Language Arts standard. Despite the continued efforts, the students and teachers at Lugo

Elementary struggle to improve overall scores due to the lack of economic, societal, and parental

support.

This little disadvantaged elementary taught me more than just textbook procedures. I

learned the importance and the difficulties of providing a quality education. The effort that a

teacher must input is indispensable. In these underperforming schools, the effort will compensate

for the lack or resources. Teaching requires the willingness to learn, adapt, and at times dedicate

additional hours to the classroom. However, I learned that teaching and learning couldnt happen

if there is a lack of classroom management skills. Mr.Brito is a very efficient teacher because his

classroom management skills are excellent. According to him, the first two weeks of class are

crucial in establishing a set routine, rules, and expectations. Mr. Brito admitted that during the

first two weeks there is not a lot of teaching because the children are getting acclimated to his

teaching style. One of my favorite techniques that he used for classroom management is that the

children had something to do as soon as they walked into the room. They were expected to work

on their vocabulary with their table before he went over it as a whole group. He used a clicker to

get their attention and a timer to help everybody stay on task. These techniques helped occupy

the students for a few minutes while the teacher settled in and allowed the teacher to redirect the

class while keeping up with the schedule.

In my training as a teacher, I plan to keep Mr.Britos strategy of grouping children with

different capabilities together. Children are very good at teaching and learning from each other.

The children that are behind can benefit from the assistance. The advanced students have an
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opportunity to retain more information because they are explaining. Also, they are learning other

skills such as communication and leadership. He assigns a group leader and the group is

expected to collaborate and problem solve without assistance from an adult. This technique

benefits everyone because the teacher has time to work with a small group and offer more

individualized assistance. This strategy will yield improved scores and facilitate individualized

assessment.

Working with children in small groups also proved beneficial to me. I was able to

correctly identify and differentiate between the childrens reading levels. It allowed me to focus

on the students that needed help without holding back the students that excelled on the task.

During this time, I also realized that the students perceived me as friendly and approachable.

They were more likely to ask me questions and felt comfortable sharing their work. This is a

good strength to have because as an educator, I want my students to ask questions and learn

without the fear of humiliation. Conversely, my strength can easily become a weakness if I fail to

be assertive. I tend to be friendly and smile a lot and older children may perceive me as a passive

teacher. I need to work on being stern. My plan is to begin the school year on a serious note and

soften up as the year progresses. This will prevent the students from thinking I am a push over

while helping me stay consistent with classroom management.

The LBS 300 fieldwork experience bridged the classroom with reality. The classroom

allowed us to share our experience and learn from each other. Our fieldwork gave us the

opportunity to practice what we learned. Additionally, we were able to individually reflect on

what we had learned in the classroom and on our fieldwork in our journals. I was able to

determine what methods were applicable to my fieldwork. During this assignment, I realized that

some textbook skills are not transferable to some schools. Each school and each child is different
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in environment, opportunities, and resources. As educators all we can do is adapt and evolve our

teaching methods according to the community we serve.