And the time continues to fly by! After finishing my third day at Walker School, I can definitely say that there is a lot to the teaching profession. Nevertheless, I still feel that it is the direction I want to continue. There will be frustrating times, I know, but it can be so rewarding working with children. They always have surprises for you.
The day started with some quiet reading and a math test. During the math test, I was able to work with a student who had been out of school for two years and who is unable to speak English well. This was a challenge not only for him but for me as well. We were able to use a lot of gestures and some English to communicate, but most of the time we used an English/Persian translator app. I think this experience really showed me how important it is to keep children in school. When you go two years without school, there is so much learning missed. It was kind of difficult to see the rest of the class solving algebra questions and one student still working on basic addition and subtraction. However, this boy is such a sweet student. I couldn’t imagine going through what he does. It would drive me crazy. Yet, he walks around smiling and is always more than happy to work on something.
Next we had phys-ed class, or that least we were supposed to. This was a time that showed both Matthew and I how teachers need to be able to think on the fly and be adaptable. Just before going to the gym, an announcement came that the gym would be closed for the day because of repairs. So, the question was: what do we do now? What the class ended up doing was Speed Stacks. This is a challenge where you have to stack up cups while alternating hands then down stack them all while being timed. The students enjoyed this and were very enthusiastic. By the sounds of it, there are some students in our class that will be competing doing this. Even though the students weren’t necessarily active, they were still working on hand-eye coordination. This activity is one that I will definitely use as a teacher.
Then there was my lesson…one that felt like organized chaos. It was an arts-ed lesson centralized around dance. The students had to choreograph a dance sequence to part of the song Monster Mash. They loved the idea and were quite excited about doing it. I am glad for that. I think that my biggest problem, or the reason that I struggled with this the most, was because I did not have the proper space to teach this lesson in. I had four different groups, two in the hall and two in the classroom. As a result, I felt pretty stretched out trying to be everywhere at once while making sure everything was happening the way it was supposed to. As well, one thing I noticed about the way I set my lesson up was that I was constantly able to assess my students. At the start I had the whole class clap on the beat of the song. I could see who was confident that way. During the activity I could really assess who my students are as learners. The personalities really came out in this one – the leaders, the slackers, the clowns, and the team players. Also, I could really see who was comfortable with dancing and who wasn’t. From this I could see who needed encouragement or a different role in planning the dance. They could all be active in some way. Because the final product was a music video, I now have something to look at for assessment after the lesson too. In the end, it all came together and the class was able to watch their final product. They did a great job!