Honestly, this morning, as I was sitting on the bus headed back to Allman Hill Primary School, I was reminiscing on the rough time that Alexis and I had controlling our 4th grade class yesterday. The principal, Ms. Henry, told us how tough the 4th grade class was. The way they acted really bothered me, but today we actually had to teach them and get them focused on learning. We had to figure out a way to make them understand that it wasn’t play time anymore; we were getting down to business. We actually had to have Ms. Briggs assist us with controlling our class. It kind of made me feel like we were the only ones who couldn’t control our group.
Ms. Briggs started off with getting our class settled and quiet. She guided us and showed us how we should introduce the lesson. We asked that the children write their names and the objective on their papers. That task alone took about 10-15 minutes which left us with 15 minutes until break time. I was highly disappointed with that, only because Ms. Briggs had to continuously stop and ask that the children be quiet.
A great majority of the kids responded very well when we got into the math lesson. They were answering the math problems before I completed writing the problem. I was impressed…at least with the performing students. With the others, I realized that they needed extra help, but what baffled me was that they used jokes to cover up their fixable and normal mistakes. A lot of the students got through their lesson, and finished their independent work. They didn’t hesitate to ask for help because they were so eager to hurry and get the answer. They just wanted to be right. There was one thing that motivated them: RECOGNITION. They performed better when I gave them a high five or an occasional “WOW! I’m so proud of you!” They loved that.
I guess I learned today that you really need to have patience, understanding, and perseverance with the kids to have a steady classroom environment. Kids are a handful, and the LearnServe students were handfuls once as well. I really feel like this experience challenged my view about my leadership skills. I didn’t just realize that teaching is the hardest job in the world; I confirmed it. I definitely won’t be giving ANY of my teachers a hard time next school year. I guess we all learn from experience and I think that was one of the points of this LearnServe trip.