So during the day I work at a school. It’s a very taxing line of work and find it fascinating looking at how far i’ve come in terms of capability. I’ve been doing this for only about 8 months, and when I started my personality demanded that I find the most effective route to perform flawlessly in the role. So I took on multiple rounds of after-school classes with the goal of gaining insight into effective explanation of material and classroom management skills. I learned many lessons, and have put hours of reflection and refinement to use after my experiences.
The first after-school program I took on was a 2nd grade homework club, where we basically do nothing but homework. This sounds so simple, however 7 year old children despise homework and will take any escape possible. I had a rough group and nearly every single one of the children had behavioral issues. This in combination with me being a rookie with this particular age group made things a rough ride. So for a general overview I had no straight lines in hallways, kids bouncing off walls, and a constant bombardment of irrelevant questions at any given time. So after a nearly a week of that I cracked down pretty hard, this helped slightly but it made the kids view me as an enemy in the process so I still had acting out. So, again after another week, I refined my process and I dished out endless consequences and even wrote up a couple kids. It got results however it was still a pretty rough experience.
The 2nd and 3rd group of students I had were amazing. One was a group of older 4th, 5th, and 6th grade girls I coached for basketball; and the other was homework club again. With the homework club I changed tactics that round, this group was considerably less rough as well. I outlined the rules clearly from day one and implemented as many things as possible into organized routine processes. My lines were always complemented in the hallways, homework was getting done, behavior was easy to manage, and I was able to focus on building relationships with students which multiplied this effect drastically.
Now I am with my 4th and 5th group of students. Group 5 has no problematic issues and most of the students in there I have had before. Group 4 however has many students that I had in my 1st group though. So my full experience is now being tested and utilized to manage these students. I’ve had them 3 weeks now and while they have made progress; way more than they had the first time I had them. I have a class policy and several go-to activities to thank for that. However I, as well as two teachers I work with have had to give them one of those serious teacher to student conversations of disappointment to correct behavior. Those two awesome teachers have become very good friends of mine and together we have worked out a good strategy to manage the group. I don’t plan to sacrifice relationships with these students for discipline as much this time as I am aiming for them to own up to their behavior and proactively shape them. With a little grit and hard work I know I can get them where I want them to be. Too bad when that happens the program will be over, but hopefully that progress will be carried with them into the next school year.
In conclusion, I have made a ton of progress in the field of education! I am not sure if I will return next year as of yet and I can go on for days about all that I have learned (possible future posts). However I owe many teachers thanks for sharing their experience and insights with me. I put a lot of hard work into the school year, and it has paid off in terms of my own ability and most importantly, all the student success.