Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kids say...

So I'm not sure when people develop the sensor that tells you that some things shouldn't be shared with the whole world, but 2nd graders definitely don't have it. They will tell you anything, often whether you ask or not. They want to share everything they know with you, and many times 12 of them want to share at the same time. At times this can be overwhelming, since there is obviously not time to listen to what every kid has to say all the time. Asking one question in class elicits 17 hands going up, each with something to say. Sometimes the hands are actually in response to the question; other times...you call on them and they say something totally unrelated to the topic at hand. For example, " Are we going to computers on Thursday?"(it's only Monday, so the schedule on Thursday is not really important right now) or, "I can run really fast" (good information, but not in the middle of social studies!). However, if you take the time to listen to their stories (not necessarily in the middle of the lesson, but at appropriate times) the things they say may provide critical insight into a child's home life, help you relate to a child because you know what they're interested in, and help you get a glimpse of why they may act the way they do. Not that their moms or dads necessarily want them to say the things they say...in fact, they would be completely embarrassed to hear some of what is said! I've had kids tell me all sorts of things in my 5 weeks in the school..."My mom says she doesn't want to help me with my homework," and"My dad's big black mustang got taken away from him yesterday because he didn't pay for it," and "I can only see my mom at DHR (social services)." Obviously, once kids develop that "sensor" they wouldn't tell a teacher things like that. They would be embarrassed, or ashamed, or just not comfortable enough to say anything. And although their parents probably didn't want me or their teacher to know these things, it does help us to understand and relate to these students better. The innocence of children is so refreshing. They hear, see, and understand much more than adults often give them credit for. They know exactly what is going on at their houses, even if their parents try to hide it and keep it a secret. So, when all of the sharing starts to overwhelm me, I try to remind myself how precious their honesty and openness is and show a little more patience and caring as I listen to them tell me stories.

On a funny note...today while we were standing in line for the bathroom (I was actually not standing in line, but the kids were), one little boy looks at me and says "My doctor hits me with a hammer." Not sure where that came from, and it kinda took me off guard (and I didn't want to laugh because kids are very serious when they tell you things)...but I did verify that it was the reflex hammer on his knee!

My internship is going well. I just finished my 5th week, and my 1st week of teaching all day. I really enjoyed it. I felt like the kids were actually learning something (most of the time) and I didn't feel like I was boring them to death, so that was a plus! I have had my first 2 evaluations by my professor at school, and I did well on both of them. She loved the games and activities I included in my lessons, which was good. I must confess, I made the lessons a little more interactive and exciting because I knew she would be there! There just isn't enough time in the day to play a game, do an activity, complete the required worksheet, and teach the lesson for every single lesson that must be taught in the day! But I do try to incorporate something interactive or "hands on" in every lesson. Kids are going to move around while you're teaching...so you might as well give them something productive to do while they're moving! This allows them to wiggle while still learning! Sometimes I feel like I might be too idealistic since I'm new to teaching, but I truly enjoy being in the classroom. I certainly have moments (and occasionally days) where I just feel frustrated and irritable, but those moments come no matter what occupation you have. Overall, I'm enjoying my time and can't wait to be teaching "for real" in a classroom of my own! Well, I should go for now. Have a wonderful weekend!

Matthew 18:3 And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

5 comments:

T. Brodie said...

Yeah, they tend to tell more than I ever care to hear! But very true- they tell so much more than they even realize. Makes you love them even more. Sometimes though, I think parents can forget their own sensors! Keep it up- I know you're doing GREAT!

Regina said...

I'm so glad thing are going well for you. You are going to be a great teacher!

Ben, Kelly and Sophie said...

Yea! I'm glad you are enjoying this - how refreshing as you look toward a future in this career! I know you're so perfect for it and I can hear your cute little half-giggle as you try not to laugh at the kids being serious. Too fun!

Melissa Lester said...

It sounds like you are exactly the kind of teacher I would want for my children -- as long as you sign a confidentiality clause to not share anything embarrassing they tell you. :)

Regina said...

How are you? You haven't posted anything new in awhile. I just wanted to make sure you weren't curled up in a ball somewhere crying about Matt!