This was out last week of service, and before we left to go to the service site we were handed a box of candy canes. I had no idea how big of impact those candy canes would have on my day. I thought that the candy canes would be used at the end of the class as a way of saying goodbye. I wanted to accomplish something in the last day, however the people that are in the class room with me, the teacher, and as a result the students had other ideas. As soon as we walked into the classroom my co-teachers started to handout candy canes, assisted by the teacher. I think one of the toughest tasks a teacher can have is to try to settle down a class of 5th graders after giving them candy canes. We tried to then review what we have learned with each other, it did not work. Instead of trying to work through the student’s energy my co-teachers decided to just play games. I will not be returning to this service site next semester.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
This week was the last service project before Thanksgiving Break, and I found it extremely frustrating. I really dislike the idea that the service meets only once a week, I feel like nothing is accomplished. The only thing that is accomplished is the basic terms, and those terms are drilled into the students. Nothing deeper is ever accomplished. I know that this is only a service project, that we are only there one day a week to teach things that the students, at least in the school’s eyes, the students don’t need to know. I feel like we are there sometimes just to give the teachers a break, at it frustrates me. I take the tasks seriously, I’m not just there to make the students laugh, as much as I would like to, but to teach them something. That task is not being accomplished right now.
This week was a first for me at my service. This was the first week that I could not connect to the students that I was teaching. I thought that I had made my lesson plan so that it would actively engage the students, but that was not the case. I’m sure that in my future career as a teacher I will eventually fail at more lesson plans, but I can honestly say that I hated every minute of the class. I was met with nothing but blank looks, and the occasional glance by the teacher. I felt that I was on an island and my boat, the lesson plan, was in pieces all around me. I will take steps to make sure that this doesn’t happen in the future.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
The week before this blog my service project was cancelled due to a mass that had been scheduled during our class time, and I was disappointed as a result. In the previous blog I had noted that I had started to make advances in student relations. I had gotten to know some of the students in my class, and they started to know me. In essence we were just getting comfortable being in the same class room together, then we had a week off and some of that relation vanished. It seems to me that I am once again starting from scratch to get to know the students, and the students to try to remember who I was. The students seem to have forgotten much of the details that we have taught them so far. It will be interesting to see how the class progresses from here, and to see if we can overcome
Before service this week, as we did in the prior week, my group met to gather a lesson plan to teach the students in my project the next day. Like last week, the plan was extremely successful. What impacted me more than the lesson this week though the demeanor of the children. As part of our lesson we spilt the students into four groups, with different tasks. This was the first week we had done this and it amazed me how different the students were without their teacher directly above them. Each of us took a group and work with them, as a result I learned a lot of about the students on a personal level, something that I would have never gotten to do in the big classroom environment. I hope that my group enjoyed the group time as much as I and the students did.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Before my service project this week, I organized the rest of my group so we could sit down and talk about our lesson for the next week. In the week prior we had very little organization, and I believed it showed. I wanted to be prepared for this week and surprisingly so did the rest of my group. We met the day prior to the service day and talked about the chapter that we were to be teaching the next day. We had a very good discussion and led to a greater understanding of the material as a whole. The difference that preparedness made was extraordinary. The students became more involved in the material from the lone fact that we were. Another thing that I observed was a change in the teacher’s demeanor. She is now past the stage of trying to impress “outsiders,” and is showing her actual classroom demeanor, which involves yelling at the kids often.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
The chapter in the book pertains to school culture. The assignment for class was to bring in a prop that symbolized my school culture. The prop that I brought is a sign that says, "Those Who Stay Will be Champions." The slogan originated from The University of Michigan and was brought to Perry High School by a former football coach who played at Michigan, Bob Ritley. While the slogan first only applied to the sports fields, the idea soon spread to the rest of the school. What the slogan meant to the school, at least from my perspective is simple. That if you continue to work hard and do the right things to accomplish your goal, then something good will happen to you. It does not necessarily mean that you will achieve all your goals but if your keep working to the best of your honest ability than you will succeed, one way or another. I think that was a great thing to tell students. They might not be doing the best in all their classes or athletic fields, or in the broad sense of every day life, but if they continue to work hard they will be rewarded.