May 19, 2011 3 Comments
When I got up on Wednesday morning I was a bit nervous to what I was walking into. As we approached the school I was pleasantly surprised with how nice the school looked. It looked new and looked like it was in great condition, better than the schools I attended as a younger student. As we were waiting in the main office, we found out we were not going to be teaching elementary students as we thought we were. Instead, I had a sixth grade classroom which came as a shock to me as I expected to be placed within the elementary level. However, I did not let this bring me down, but better look at it as an experience to be with a different age group and see how I like it. I was happy to meet my teacher, who I actually have a lot in common with. As I got settled in and students started coming in, the “morning madness” began. It was so chaotic with students coming in and going out and yelling and noises and distractions, etc. Ms. Ludgren, my cooperating teacher, put their daily journal on the board and that seemed to get them to sit down and be quiet and do their work. I was shocked when the morning announcements and Pledge of Allegiance was going on, none of them were listening or stood up to do the pledge, they ignored it completely. I think that if my teacher had them be quiet and do the Pledge of Allegiance it could help them be controlled and help maintain order in this “morning madness” that seemed to be happening. Through all this madness I was experiencing I didn’t know how to help or how the students would react if I tried to calm them down; I was a little nervous and intimidated. Then, I found out we were going on a field trip that day and we would be the following day too. At first I was excited and thought that was cool. However, as I look back, I felt like I couldn’t form any relationships with the students as a I couldn’t really interact with them during the field trip. Also, I missed out on a chance to see how Ms. Ludgren’s class normally runs. In saying that, it made me eager to work with her the next week and made my goal of this seminar to help and change the lives of these students for the better. I hope to make a lasting impression on them and truly form good bonds with the students.
Although in the beginning I may have been disappointed I was not with elementary level, I think it is for the best. Originally, I was majoring in Secondary Education and then switched over to Elementary Education. I always thought I wanted to work with older kids, however even after one day working with a 6th grade class, I realized I think I belong in a younger class as I do not deal with students who do not like me very well. For example, my class is working on game boards based on various folk tale stories. I was going around to the different groups to help them out. One group in particular, was doing a good job and I was really guiding them to get their project done. However, one of the girls started talking about me when I walked away and I don’t deal well with people who do not like me. It made me feel insecure and made me try harder for her to like me. I then realized, it is not whether the students like me or not, but whether I provide them with good educational skills to allow them to succeed. Even though I realized I can’t think about what the students think of me, I still am glad a made the switch in my major to Elementary Education as the younger students have a stronger love for school, learning, and their teachers.
When we got to the large group discussion, it was awesome to hear everyone’s different experiences and thoughts after just a few hours in their pre-service schools. Everyone had different thoughts and perspectives after their first day and it was really cool to see that. Some were truly affected by how horrible some of the students’ home lives were, while others were pleasantly shocked by how well their students obeyed the rules. In this large urban setting, we are going to experience a lot of different levels of students. I hope to help the lower level students and push the higher level students so they can all benefit from me being in the classroom. I look forward to this seminar and hope to fulfill my goal in building relationships with my students as well as helping them to succeed in the future.