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Looking Back

When looking back at the past couple of weeks, I can see a clear difference in the dynamics of each classroom that I have taught in. Starting with 5th grade, it was apparent within the first few minutes in the classroom that many of them had little to no English background. However, they were engaged in learning and enjoyed the many activities we planned for them. For 4th grade, it was clear from the start that the classroom was divided. Half of the class had amazing proficiency in English while the other had no background whatsoever. Receptive to different activities, we modified our lesson plans to fit their interests. No longer did Hot Potato work its magic, but instead it was sectioning off into groups to play competitive games that really got these students engaged. It was interesting to see how each group tackled a lesson.


Back to the Present

With each classroom comes a new dynamic and a new set of challenges, and 2nd grade was no different. It felt like the convenience store coffee that I had grown to love was no longer enough to give me the energy I needed to tackle this classroom. It seemed like none of the activities that had worked in other classrooms worked with these students. All they seemed to want to do was draw and watch videos. When we would suggest anything else, they were completely unreceptive. Most of our energy was put towards making sure they were seated and listening rather than the actual teaching. Instead of an English class, it felt more like P.E. When one student finally sat down, another would take his place and distract the other students.

It seemed like each period was a battle for control of the classroom. Despite this, however, we were still able to teach them some things. The students liked Simon Says and could effectively tell me their body parts in English. It felt good to see that despite the constant distraction, they still learned something, and they learned it well.


Wrapping Up

This week was especially difficult for me. It was hard to continue to have a positive outlook and look forward to teaching. Patience seemed harder to come by and my energy depleted much more quickly than anticipated. I’m sure it did not help that I was also sick this week, having to make sure I was still energetic in the classroom while also making sure to not strain myself. Despite all of the overwhelming opposition, I feel like I have grown as a teacher because of this experience. Where else can I get such a great test of endurance?