Fast Fingers and Sea Creatures

[Well folks, I did it again: you’re getting two days worth of journal squeezed into one. I confess, I’m not used to writing frequently, and since I take so much time to write, I need a large chunk of uninterrupted time to get the job done. Therefore, for those of you who regularly tune-in to my humble blog, thank you for your patience in advance.]

So, last post I was majorly iffy about whether Shoal Creek was the best place for me right now. By the end of this last week, every doubt had vanished, I’m happy to report. I know that was a quick turnabout, but one event in particular proved to me that Shoal Creek is paying off: Sabbath School. Our children’s departments are rather short on teachers, so I started teaching Primary a few months ago. Up until a few weeks ago, my previous experiences had gone something like this:

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It’s not like I can’t discipline kids; I just don’t know how to do it properly. Public school teachers taught me how not to do it, and since they were my only models for teaching the younger age groups, I felt confused. Furthermore, this is going to sound awful, but I just wasn’t sure what children were like anymore. I still struggle with that! Kids are just so unpredictable. They’re smart in some ways and ignorant in others. They think some stuff is cool, but other seemingly age-appropriate items are deemed dumb. This is why Shoal Creek has been such a help.  Take a look at what we did just this last Sabbath:

I’m so happy! Kids are being kids but also learning (I hope) under my supervision! And to think, all that came about just by observing for four days at Shoal Creek. The small teacher to student ratio has allowed me to carefully observe student/teacher interactions in order to boost the effectiveness of my own. I guess that means I’m not awkwardly ambling around doing odd jobs for teachers: I’m learning by environmental osmosis XD

Tuesday was an osmosis-y day, for sure. I didn’t really feel like I did much besides observe and help where I could. I stuck with Freeman’s class for the first half of the day, then moved on to Dorn’s class for the last. In both classrooms, I floated about, helping with math and grammar worksheets. I can already tell I’m going to hate worksheets when I become a teacher. The curriculums for the lower grades use tons of them, according to what I’ve already seen. This makes for an interesting trade-off when one considers lower vs. upper grade workloads. Lower grades have more individual worksheets (both classwork and homework), yet since the material is easy, the teachers spend less time grading. Upper grades have fewer worksheets, which are based on concentrated subjects, yet the teachers are swamped with grading. It’s something to consider while I’m still deciding what grade(s) I want to teach.

On a fun note, in Freeman’s class, I logged onto their typing program to see how well I could do. I think it said I’m consistently in the 70’s, which I think is pretty good. I hit 100 (words per second, I think?) at one point, but keeping up that pace was hurting my hands, literally. I secretly was hoping the kids would notice and be impressed because it’s pitiful how wonderful it made me feel to hear them freak out behind me, and notice they did.

Cause I was like:

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And they were like:

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Which made me like:

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Bahahaha I’m so weird.

 

Anyway, back to serious teacher-in-training-ness.

Thursday was…well, seriously SO MUCH FUN! I taught plagiarism (that is, now to avoid it, not do it, ah-ha) to Dorn’s class and was pleasantly surprised by the class’s reaction. If you have powerpoint (or at least can open those kinds of files), then here it is for your downloading pleasure:

Plagiarism Presentation

Can anyone say plesiosaur problem? 😀 Yes, it’s an obsession. Oddly enough, I found a fellow cryptid lover in one of Dorn’s students. She’s the same girl I mentioned in the last post, the one I tried to help understand algebraic letters. She was so entranced by the pictures I posted that Dorn had to turn the powerpoint off so she could focus on the worksheet.  This really makes me happy because I feel like I’ve found a key to helping this student become more focused on her work. She becomes easily distracted by small things and has trouble culling her comments about said small things. If our mutual obsession can be used as a reward for better focus, then maybe I can make a small difference in her performance over the next few weeks. School may be almost over, but I aim to do what I can while I still have time.

As far as critiquing my powerpoint performance goes, Dorn told me that I did well. I probably should’ve defined more of the terms (paraphrasing, for instance), but aside from that, it was a nice start for a teacher-in-training. I got nervous when I was up there, but my little friend in front had me smiling the whole time. Her excited face is contagious X)

Well, it’s late here on my end. Pleasant dreams everyone. I’ll actually write tomorrow; I’m holding myself to it.

Fyi, here’s the picture my little friend loved so much:

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Please don’t hate me if it gives you nightmares. For the record, it kinda scares me too.

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