Wow, so for those of you who have been following my blog thus far the half way point of Teach for America (Institute) is over! I have mixed feelings about this, because I have never slept so little in my entire life yet I love the kids I am working with so that will be sad to leave.
Lesson plans have been VERY daunting to say the least. At first, I felt a little ridiculous scripting out my entire lesson plan because the task seemed a bit over exaggerated. However, now that I am getting used to it, I am starting to realize that scripting out your lesson plans is the best thing to do because as you read it yourself, you are able to discern if what you are teaching makes sense or if the kids are going to stare back at you with blank looks thinking, "This blond teacher that is rapidly firing words at me has no idea that everything she is saying is not going into my brain." So, with that said I really feel this rather "daunting" task has actually made me a better teacher.
Now onto a boy in my class who is amazing! For the sake of privacy we are going to name him (steven). So, the first day of summer school everyone in my class was writing down notes, and following along with their worksheets as I would talk. However, Steven wouldn't. I had Steven stay after at break and finish his work, which he was happy to do. As I started talking with him I realized he wasn't a defiant boy rather he didn't know how to study. So, I was pretty stumped at how to help him... until AIT (AIT are small sessions about 25 min. of individual attention) I asked him what setting was and he replied, "I don't know." I thought this was a little weird considering I had tested his reading level and knew he was at a 6th grade reading level, and he had 2 days of teaching that was focused on "setting." So, I said ok and had him read the book I had planned for him and his fellow classmates to read. About a page and a half in I stopped him and asked him to tell me what was going on in the story. He told me exactly what was going on in the story and even used sensory details. So, I wondered how then he couldn't answer a basic question such as, "What is setting." So, I turned the paper around asked him to read the question, "What is setting." He read the question looked up and said, "The time or place of the story." I assumed then that he must have a verbal processing disorder. I called his mom and asked her if I sent Steven my lesson plans would she have him just sit and read them. She said she would. So, thus began the experiment. Steven sat there the night before my lecture and read the entire thing. He came in the next day, and did all of his work beautifully!! He can learn, he just didn't know how to!!! This is why I teach, and this is why I am so passionate about the kids I teach!