Aloha mai kākou! 🙂 I hope you all have been having a lovely week so far!
This is my first entry for my Teaching Diaries series, and what better place to start this than now – this being almost the end of the school year!
I work as a tutor on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. I work on reading on Mondays and Thursdays at one school, and I work on mathematics on Tuesdays and Fridays at another school. Plus with my volunteering at Mayor Wright Housing on Wednesdays, I definitely have my hands full with many bright, yet energetic children every day!
For the most part, I enjoy the days I do reading for work. I work with the younger students, so their work is pretty easy to grade. The only thing about working with the younger students is taking the time off of continuously grading all of their homework/classwork to make the students read with me, but I honestly don’t mind since I enjoy the interaction.
My only struggle on Reading Days is right when I get to work. I have two students that constantly give me issues, and they’re always my first two students of the day. The only thing that gets me through those first 10-20 minutes of work with them is knowing that once I’m finished with them, the rest of the time is pretty much smooth sailing. Although I find it difficult at times to keep being patient, I just keep thinking that this will help me out in the long run when I eventually (hopefully!) become a full-time teacher! As of now, though, if anyone has any suggestions or techniques on how to get students to cooperate, I would be utterly grateful!
Thursdays are usually not as stressful compared to Mondays since not all of the students come to tutoring, and yesterday wasn’t any different. Besides working on the younger students with their reading, I also had to grade a couple of Achievement Tests for one student, but other than that, we were finished with grading everyone’s work about twenty minutes before work was actually over!
Stress-wise, Tuesdays usually aren’t that bad since there’s usually another teacher working with me. However, it seemed that things were a little more stress-free than usual this past Tuesday. Maybe it’s because not all of the students came? I honestly didn’t notice since I was busy grading the students’ work, but I wouldn’t be surprised if not all of them came since it’s so close to summer vacation!
We usually don’t finish correcting everyone’s work on Tuesdays since it’s always busy, but we had managed to do so this past Tuesday! It immensely helped that the reading teachers had finished their work early, so they were able to help grade the easier levels! Then again, we also have four teachers (plus my boss) on Tuesdays – two for reading, two for math – compared to Fridays when I’m the only teacher for math.
The students have their May Day program at school today, and because of this, they have early release from school. With this in mind, I start work tomorrow a lot earlier than what I usually do. However, because we’re starting earlier, that means we’re ending earlier as well! I’m looking forward to talking to the kids about their May Day program…but I’m a bit apprehensive about how insane and impatient the kids will be when it comes to us working with them and grading their classwork…I’m just hoping and praying that my students won’t give me a difficult time at work!
Side note: Man, kids can be super sassy at times! Maybe it’s because I’m so used to private school students compared to public school, but geez! So much attitude!
I always look forward to Wednesdays at the library. It’s a nice breather from the constant, quick pace I need to keep when I’m at work. Plus, for the most part, the children who come to the library are such a joy 🙂
We had more of the older children there than usual this past Wednesday. I’m assuming with this being the final stretch of the school year, the older kids needed a place to work on/get help with their homework. By the time I got to the library, Ms. Rina was already working with the older students, so I was mainly with the younger ones during free time. Some of the older ones (maybe 8-10 years old?) were drawing, but with the tone of Ms. Ashley’s voice, it seems that they were already giving her some issues. We ended up sending some of them home since they wouldn’t listen (plus wrote profanity on their drawings).
I especially kept my eyes on the youngest of the kids. Their ages range from 4-6. I joined two of the younger girls (honestly some of my favorite kids there) as were coloring pictures, and they had asked me questions about myself. My conversations with them are always the highlight of my Wednesdays since they are always so curious about everything. This time, they had noticed that I was wearing makeup to the library (I rarely ever wear makeup to the library, but I was going out with my family afterwards). Being at the age of dress-up and makeovers, they showed quite an interest in this, demonstrating to me how they put on their own lipstick when they play dress-up at home. Definitely warmed my heart!
Before free time was over, I had noticed one of the kids struggling with his math homework. Trying to teach simple addition to a student who doesn’t fully grasp the concept in the first place was a challenge. Thank goodness, though, that his worksheet had required him to draw circles to “balance” the “scale”. Once he physically drew the circles, he started to understand a little better.
After free time, we do some sort of movement activity to get all that energy out of the students so they can concentrate on their reading. We had decided to do something different this time – musical chairs! Boy, the kids were extremely excited, and it was war every time the music had stopped playing to find a seat! Halfway through movement, though, someone went to wash her hands to find out that our water was out! We have a policy at the library that if/when the water is out (since plumbing is pretty iffy at Mayor Wright), we can’t let the students stay. Hoping the water would turn back on, we finished movement and went on to our group reading.
This month, the kids are learning about their heritages, and this week was focused on Chuuk. Most of the kids are Chuukese, and I was pleasantly surprised on just how much the kids knew about their culture! Ms. Ashley showed the kids the map of Chuuk, a picture of attire and tattoos back in the day, and shared a story before making the kids do their individual reading. I was paired up with one of the younger girls, and I read her a “word dictionary” picture book since she’s still learning her alphabet. Making her repeat the words I said and asking her if she knew the names of animals/things helped her stay focus, although she wouldn’t stop wiggling in her chair!
Once individual reading was done, we checked the faucet again to see that there was still no water. We had to unfortunately end early. We gave the students their snack, lined them up at the door, and released them for the day. Hopefully the water came back so that they could do the activities we couldn’t do with them on Wednesday!
All in all, this week wasn’t too bad. It definitely had its moments when it came to some students, but there have definitely been worse weeks at work/volunteering!
Me ke aloha,