Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Upon observing and interacting with the St. Mary’s students I have found that the students were much more fun than I ever thought they would be. The majority of them were really interested in the games and activities that you had to offer and they all wanted to be involved. While setting up the games and activities and observing the students, I found that many of them were at a much higher skill level than I ever thought they would be at. It was very interesting to see the variety of skill levels as well. I found that if you take the students aside and show them one on one how to properly perform the skill many were able to greatly improve the skill they were working on. If there is no demonstration and no one showing the students how to perform the activity then they all performed it how they were comfortable doing it.
My experience working with the Pre K students at St. Mary’s school was a very positive experience. I really enjoyed working with the students. They were one of my favorite age groups to work and interact with. They just wanted to have fun and were really interested in your activities. They were so excited to have us there and just wanted all of our attention especially in the classroom setting. It made me feel really good about working and interacting with them. It was a lot of fun and a very rewarding experience in my eyes. Working with the Pre K students was much different than working with the older students in many ways. First off, you really have to guide them through every activity. They want to just run off and do the activity instead of listening to the directions. You need to be able to get their attention and explain the rules before you let them go play. Even once you have started the activity, you constantly have to work with them and remind them what activity or skill they need to be doing. As well as getting their attention and working with them, one of the major things you need to think about is whether the activity is appropriate for their skill level or not. You need to make sure that the skills and activities that you are trying to work on with them are developmentally appropriate for their group. That could mean modifying the activity for the entire group or modifying it for just one or two students. Either way, you want the entire group to feel successful.
There are many things that I have learned while working with the students at St. Mary’s. I have found that every activity does not work for each age group. You need to be willing and able to make changes to your activity on the fly in order to adjust to the student’s skill level. I have also found you need to be able to think of variations and keep the students moving, not only physically, but mentally as well. I think that all of these things will definitely be able to help me in the future with teaching. Coming into this class I though that I could come to the school with just a few games prepared and I would be all set. I quickly learned that those games would not last long. I have learned that you need many ideas and tricks up your sleeve in order to keep the kids interested. Another major observation that I found was that being enthusiastic about what you are doing only makes everything better and more fun. If you are having fun then your students are most likely having fun. It is important to keep a positive attitude and even if something goes wrong, just do what you need to do to fix it and move one. This class has really helped my teaching style emerge in many ways. I have a much more positive outlook on teaching younger students and I have really learned how to work and interact with them. You have a much different interaction with an elementary setting than you do with a high school setting. I have learned so much about students and what it is like to teach such a young age. From this experience I feel that I have the ability to work with the younger students and not just a middle or high school level. It was a very positive experience and something that I would enjoy doing much more of in the future!