This is late, I know 🙂 Work takes a lot out of a body, especially when it’s waitressing in a small, yet very busy, restaurant. Fyi, my weekly schedule is: MWF at Charm Thai Cuisine, Tues and Thurs at Shoal Creek Adventist School. I had been doing Charm five days a week, so this internship makes for a more balanced schedule. I make less money, but I find my lowered stress a better trade-off.
Anyway, on to the fun stuff.
Tuesday was a relaxing, peaceful entrance into my internship… almost too peaceful, I thought. Mrs. Freeman, my supervisor, had me act as floater, grader and master-of-flashcards-and-lollipops. Apparently, her grades still struggle with times tables, so she’s decided to take advantage of my role as intern (a.k.a. free help, tee-hee) and have me do flashcards when I’m there. Honestly, I really hope my doing that makes a difference; the problem is that I’m afraid it won’t achieve the desired results. When I was their age, my mother and grandmother grilled me on my tables till they stuck.
Even on my first day, I was vividly struck by how key are homework and repetition to student success. Those times tables are just facts they have to learn by rote. Too many were counting on their fingers, and you can’t do that when you’re trying to do 9×8 (=72, don’tcha know). Maybe this won’t help me much if I become an English teacher, but it at least shows me how some things must be learned.
Then, from down the hall, I heard it taunting me. Mr. Bralley informed me that it needed re-taming, so I accepted the challenge with glee. Boldly I stepped forth once more to do battle with…
(dun dun duuuuuuh)
So yeah, it wasn’t as bad as the first time. This summer, I had to literally overhaul almost every shelf. It took me about three to four days to re-organize everything according to Mr. Dewey’s decimal system, but I got ‘er done. Naturally, during the school year, things get misplaced, books are randomly strewn places, people just stick stuff on the shelves (pizza coupons anyone?). Still, it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been since most children are too tiny to reach the highest shelves (YESSS LESS WORK). So I’m now the unofficial librarian. I really want to make a sign that ways I’M WATCHING YOU O_O but I don’t think they’ll let me. Oh well, they’re good kids 🙂
My special surprise for the day came when I spoke with Christina Dorn about helping her teach the fine art of research paper writing. I’m excited about this, but I just hope the fifth and sixth graders can handle it. I think I wrote my first research paper when I was in sixth grade, but I’m not totally positive on that. Anyway, I’m hoping these kids really surprise me. Christina said they surprise her every day, so I feel confident in this venture. I definitely know I’ll be covering plagiarism 🙂 After reading college papers that don’t reflect college standards, I plan on giving those kids the speech of their lives. I definitely want to impress upon them the necessity of learning how to write well. This is definitely going to be fun.
Today was even more fun because I stayed with Christina’s class this time. I did sit in for Bible time with Freeman first thing, though, and I like the way she coupled reading the story with letting the kids color Bible pictures. I’m learning that keeping the kids semi-distracted with their hands so they can listen with their ears is an effective teaching method. If I teach middle school, I’ll have to put that into practice 🙂 I also re-did flashcards today and tried to focus on the problems that really trip them up. We didn’t get to spend a lot of time on them today, but practice is practice and every little bit helps.
I found that Christina’s class was much more invigorating for me than Mrs. Freeman’s. The kids had a higher level of comprehension and a whole lot of sass. Their spunk and energy delighted me, and I seriously hope to spend more time there. Several students in particular stuck out to me. One young man had taken a mutual vow of silence with his friend to not speak today in class; his friend immediately broke the vow while he stayed clammed up. He’d point and grunt and write on paper what he was trying to say, and I just had to laugh. Kids are great, I’m tellin’ ya.
Their higher-level subjects were also more stimulating. I floated around like Pooh with his balloon, happily surveying their progress with mastering homophones and multiplying fractions. I even got to help a girl understand fractions through her specific learning style! She told me she learns kinesthetically, so I cut up pieces of paper, wrote each part of the algebraic equation on one side and the number it stood for on the other. As she flipped them back and forth, her eyes grew big with understanding and I felt so tingly inside. The trouble is that she thought that all uses of those letters would be equal to those numbers, so I explained that she would make cards for all equations and then use the flipping method to help her understand what means what.
At the end of the day, I felt somewhat stumped. However much I like interning at Shoal Creek, if I want to teach high school, I’m going to need to be somewhere else. I vented to my mother, who suggested that I at least complete the internship for the experience it affords for working with a wide range of grade levels. I feel even more determined now to start the Teacher’s Certificate program at (I’m not sure where yet) College (or University)!
Shoal Creek, I WANT MORE!
Random epicness: I received the best comment today. After playing a game of “Survivor,” where you throw Frisbees to get people “out,” a girl said I throw like Captain America.