Being Taught to Teach


To Tally or Not
December 17, 2010, 4:48 am
Filed under: Encounters in 5th Grade

Unfortunately I have yet to see a parent in the classroom at my public school.  This is understandable/expected, but it is still sad.

Regardless of the parent activity I am still enjoying this classroom.  The kids seem really excited whenever I come to help out, they even call out hello to me on the playground if I get there during lunch.

One thing I have begun doing a lot is helping with the kids who are having trouble reading.  They get a story from their teacher, Ms. S, and have to read it in school and at home throughout the week.  At the end of the week I quiz them by seeing how far they can read in a minute.

I enjoy the one-on-one work with these older kids, but as I observe I am seeing that I may prefer the younger grades.  These kids are great, they are just a handful. I have always been afraid of having to have a firm hand as a teacher.  I know it is necessary, but I am so much better at being the friend than the one to be afraid of.    It seems like points or rewards is always a go to method for helping teachers keep a class in line, but is this really the best way? Am I doomed to a life of putting up tally marks for good behavior and erasing them for bad behavior? I hope not.

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Bonnes Vacances!
December 17, 2010, 4:31 am
Filed under: First Grade French

I have been working in the classroom twice a week for the last three weeks and it is still going great.  Helping with spelling and making sure the children are following directions as they work is a majority of my work.  Because the holidays are coming up we have worked on several art projects, culminating in today’s holiday party with the parents.  PJ came up with a great project where each of the children decorated a flattened version of a takeout box.  Once they had been decorated he laminated them, and folded them into boxes.  Later a mother came in and helped the kids make cookies for the boxes.  These went along with handmade cards for each of the parents that the children presented them with during the party.

It was interesting to see how the dynamics changed a little during the party. Children who don’t always show off in class tried to speak up more and participate, to show their parents how much they knew.  As the children did projects the parents slowly introduced themselves to me.  They were all very curious about me and what I had planned for my future.  Some of them even had suggestions as they were or had friends who are teachers.

I really enjoyed seeing the parent child interactions.  It was quite obvious that there is a lot of support  for each child in this classroom.

One of my favorite parts of the party was when the children were able to do free draw as the parents ate and talked.  Although there were some great and creative drawings, there was certainly one child who out shown the rest.  Later I learned that he is the “artist” of the class and all the boys sort of look to him to figure out what or how to draw something.  And although this depiction is a little violent…it is awesome all the same.  It started with just a few windsurfers and evolved to epic proportions.

Although it will be great to have a “winter break” again, I will miss all my students and can’t wait for the New Year to start!