257 Advice

My advice for incoming students would be to come into this class not having expectations. I feel as if my expectations for this class made me overthink and second-guess myself when I was in the lab. It’s easier to just not worry about messing up or saying the wrong thing and to just be yourself with the kids. It takes time to get used to the lab and their philosophy, but you do get used to it and it becomes easier. It took me awhile to become comfortable working in the lab and to not second-guess myself.

I would also advise to spend time thinking about this class. Plan your small groups depending on what interests the members of your small groups. Think about what they might enjoy and what they will be able to do. The activity does not need to be complicated or involve a lot of prep work, which was something I had to get used to with already working as a preschool teacher.

I learned a lot over the course of the semester. I learned about different methods of teaching, how to analyze children’s behavior, and how to reflect on my own time spent with children. You learn a lot in this class and in the lab.

CD 257 Advice

The only advice I could give the students of next semester is make time to talk to the professors about anecdotes and projects for the children. For the anecdotes it’s a pain only because it’s really difficult staying in present tents while writing it. I went to the writing center a few times and they made it worse some how. So I would recommend to meet with the professors about reading over their anecdotes before turning it in. For group project my advice to them is trying thinking of at least 3-4 ideas a week so you always have a back up plan, but the main problem is running out of ideas. Sadly the web isn’t a great resource I would recommend to talk to the professors because they can help give you ideas and also work with your day team members only because you guys might be able to help each other with ideas. Besides that my last advice for the children is that don’t let you emotions blind your judgement and don’t assume that they don’t always know what they are doing. Most of the time yes but there are moments that they do know what they are doing and finding these moments are difficult. I recommended asking/telling Jillian’s about a certain behavior that you have seen more then once. The class was fun and I’m sure that many other students will enjoy this class sad to leave.

CD 257 Advice

My advice for future students taking the class is to read the lab manual before working in the lab. I found it very helpful. I was a bit nervous when I started working in the lab. I knew that I was being graded and watched on the other side of the room which made me hesitant and a little worrisome about what I was doing. As the semester progressed I found that the class lectures and readings became engrained and my interactions  supporting children strenghtened. It is important to maintain a reflective approach towards your development and utilize the middle of the semester to strengthen areas that you may not have noticed before. I found the midterm immensly helpful, and I continue to strengthen my problem solving skills with children. I also found it very helpful practicing exercises that make my presence known, which benefited me in the classroom. The manuel helps make everything not seem as overwhelming. Keeping an eye out of your surroundings in the lab worked well with my day team and was very helpful as all worked well together throughout the day. Overall, I found CD 257 to be a very enjoyable class and I enjoyed working with Jillian and Celia they are very supportive and have taught me a lot.

Advice to future CD 257 students

Hello future CD 257 students,

Going into this class may seem to be kind of scary. I know when I began this class I was overwhelmed with having to do a small group activity and an anecdote each week, but after the first couple weeks you will learn fast that there is nothing to be scared of at all. When doing the small group activities it is important to know that they will not always go as planned, but that is okay. Going with what the children are interested in is the most important thing when it comes to doing the small group. The anecdotes may seem difficult to do in the beginning but with each anecdote you will receive great feedback and they are definitely beneficial when it comes to learning about the children and doing child charts.

Throughout this course you will learn many different teaching methods and find that it is very helpful to observe how you peers interact with the children. One big thing that is important when working with the children in the CDL is to know how to problem solve. I know that when I began this semester that was one of my hardest things, but my advice to you future CD 257 students is to know that being in the CDL is a complete learning experience and that is why we are there is to become better at working with the children. Being a teacher is always going to be a learning experience every step of the way and that is very important to remember. It is okay to make mistakes when in there that is why we are there.

One last thing that I would like to leave you guys with is to enjoy this experience and get as much from it as possible. Even though this class may seem frightening to begin with you will be surprised with how much you will get out of it from working with the children, getting advice from your peer students, and also advice from the head teacher. Good luck with the semester and have fun!!!


Heather’s Advice

My advice for students of CD 257 is somewhat similar to most classes, with a few exceptions which are specific to this particular class.
First, go to class. Always show up on your lab date, especially. It is important, more so than many classes, that you be there to do your job and learn from the valuable expertise of the teachers and staff. If you can’t make it in, treat it like a job and call ahead for a sub if you can. Be responsible. You are being relied upon to make for an awesome educational opportunity that you too will benefit from. (That is the ultimate goal, I think…along with learning great skills for working with young children).
Be prepared! While most people, even professionals can wing it every now and then, you’re probably not experienced enough to wing it very often. In addition, winging it can be met with challenges that you didn’t have time or the forethought to consider. Prepare a bit ahead and talk about your plan with someone. You may not have considered everything that you need to in order to have a successful activity.

Work with your day team! Work with your small group team! Although our time together is limited, we do get a lot of time to plan for projects and share about the children, so use it well. Don’t be afraid to offer suggestions to others and be open to new ideas. Also, working on projects over time can build teamwork for the children and the teachers. Don’t miss out on this opportunity.

Last, ask for help and always be willing to help others. Look for where you can add support and find opportunities to make things better in any way you can.

Sarah’s Advice

New CD 257 students preparing for a semester long lab.

Looking back at my times in the lab, I feel that it was such an enriching experience to be immersed in such a caring environment, for both the children and student teachers alike. For the new students who will be coming into the lab next semester here are some pointers I would liked to have given myself.

The first thing is to just relax and enjoy your time building small groups and not clouding your thoughts with the anxiety you may feel. For about the first 6 labs I was always anxious in the days leading up to my lab day. After I would feel a sense of relief but also forethought of how I could have done better had I not been anticipating the day so much.As long as you keep your small groups simple, and diverse, you will continue to learn what your small group members enjoy, and how you all work together.

Secondly I would like to advise to not be afraid to ask questions, no matter how simple they are. If you have a question that goes unanswered, you could only be diminishing your potential to thrive. I went too long not asking a simple question like, “Where do I get paper from?” that I didn’t have any idea how many wonderful things were in the outside cupboards!

You are here to learn, you are not being paid to know how to run a preschool, so come ready to be a guide for these children and come with a ready body and mind to learn and enjoy learning along with these children.

You can do it! Just keep your eyes, ears, and heart open and you can have a great time.

Have a wonderful semester!

Alyssa’s Advice

Hello future CD 257 students,

This class is something that may appear to be rather daunting at the beginning of the semester. The amount of reading may seem immense, or the small group activity plans, and anecdotes may appear to be tedious. But let me tell you, there is a purpose with every single assignment and discussion. It is time consuming, but everything that is great should be time consuming. This class will truly provide you with 15 weeks of amazing experiences, reading, and discussions.

When in the child development lab, you learn so many beneficial teaching techniques that can only be learned through doing them over and over again. As a teacher, we are unable to plan everything and that is something that I am constantly working with in the lab. I am working every week at being flexible and “going with the flow”, and that is exactly what you will have to work on. It is important to me to incorporate the interests of each child into activities. As I am growing and changing as a teacher, so are my other teachers, so together we are working as a unit to benefit the whole group. This group collaboration is one of the most beneficial aspects of your day teams, use them.

While reading the lab manual, pay attention to aspects that intrigue you, or stick with you. The sections on descriptive feedback, modeling and parallel play, assisting children respectfully, and encouraging to notice one another s work (pg. 9-10) in the lab manual stood out to me the most. I think that these four principles will follow me throughout my entire life as an educator. Through treating students respectfully, and encouraging children to respect others, as well as notice others’ work, a positive, educational environment can be fostered. On pages 13 and 14 of the manual, guidance for children’s play and problem solving is investigated. I thought that initially this was going to be difficult for me, but I have become more natural at modeling positive interactions between the conflicting students, and you will too.

Lastly, take criticism well. Listen to Jillian, the student teacher, and Mary Ann, their job is to help you grow in this experience. Pay attention, and read your lab notes, your anecdote responses, and any other feedback, because they are only offering it so that you can be a reflective teacher. Good luck this semester and remember that this class has a purpose, and you will get more out of it than you could imagine. Stay positive!


[CD 257] Advice for future students

It’s almost the end of the semester and my lab experience for this course has almost came to an end. I’ve learned a lot during the course and the lab experience, and here’s what I want to share with the future students who are going to enroll in this class.

The most important thing I have learned during this class is that we as teachers need to respect for individualities in children. Every child is different: they learn in various of ways and their developmental levels varies as well. When planing out small group activities, teachers need to take in consideration of each child’s characteristics, interests, and learning process to plan an activity that engage everyone in the group as well as scaffold them for development. Children behaves differently in the lab, and there might be many reasons behind their behaviors. Pre-assumptions of any child and their behavior is not a good start  when working with children. Sometimes children misbehave, and that usually contain deeper meaning than we, as student teachers that only spend four hours in the lab with these children every week, can understand. We need to always see things with open minds and accept the fact that there are many things about children that we do not know.

Class lectures tie with lab experience very closely. The discussion that we have in the class meetings will do tremendous help and provide guidance and strategies for us to use during our lab practices. Team work is another important thing for this course. We constantly work in teams both in lab day teams and small group activity groups. It is important for us to remain awareness of all the children and lab team members doing during lab practice. Sometimes situation occurs when we need help from the other side of the room or in need to take a break, and that’s when good team coordination comes in handy. During small group activity plans, we can talk to each others and make a week-long activities that are consistant on children’s learning experience.

It is highly impossible to avoid working in teams as educators,  this course provides us the opportunity to practice what are necessary for our professional practice later on in life. I’ve been taught that college is a practice for professional performance throughout my college experience. For example, attending class shows accountability and team project shows reliability, task management and many other important skills and disciplines. In that case, this course also requires us to practice and refine certain professional performance  when working in the lab, such as calling in the lab and finding substitutes when we cannot make it to the lab, as well as dressing up professionally and talking to children and adults with objectivity.

I believe that this is a very nice course for people to experience, whether or not if you want to become educators. It is within my belief that parents need to contain the knowledge that educators do for the children to reach their highest potentials. Parents are children’s first teachers, therefore I think this course will bring people with appropriate techniques and strategies of helping children to development, both academically and intellectually.