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Saturday, May 8, 2010

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I started working on my Masters Degree in Education three weeks ago. It's exhilirating to have so many ideas dancing around my head. It's exciting to be talking about theories and situational activities that I may someday be using in my own classroom. Wow, what an awesome responsibility.
I work 7 -10 hours at my children's school. I absolutely love working with the children, which is part of the reason why I chose to get my degree in Education in the first place. But, just like with any other job, some days are better than others.
I was in the first grade class yesterday morning. My job was to help the children who didn't understand a Math worksheet by assisting them with the more difficult components that they didn't understand allowing them to complete it. Most of the children are happy for help. They want to do what is necessary and they recognize that sometimes they need a little personalized guidance. I have one student though who really doesn't respond well to teacher intervention. I'll call him Andrew.
Andrew is very bright, but he has some behavioral issues and family problems. Some days with Andrew are better than others. On a good day, he is eager to tell me what is going on with his life, look at his work and provide insight and instruction. Yesterday was not a good day.
Andrew was having trouble with his math sheet and it was a rather complex worksheet for first graders. They were working on reading a graph, but in this case, the symbols on the graph represented more than one, so they children had to read the directions accurately and then count by the appropriate number. (2,3,or 5) Andrew had the right answers if the computation would have been 1. He doesn't handle correction well and when I asked him if he would like some help, he just shut down. He wouldn't look at me, make eye contact, talk to me... it was terrible. The only saving grace was that he was like that for his regular teacher and her full time aid as well.
I know that there are children like Andrew and it will be my job to help them. I wonder how I will meet that challenge when I can't help one little boy with his math problems? He did hug me when I left, but that doesn't help him read the graph.

3 comments:

Michelle V. Alkerton said...

Sometimes a problem, math or otherwise seems too overwhelming to comprehend and a change is necessary to allow the brain to percolate and the frustration to ease up. I'm sure that there are times that you can do nothing as a teacher but have patience and let your students know you'll find different ways to help them when they are ready.

I know you're doing great!!

Stay inspired!
Michelle

snowflake said...

Thanks Michelle, that really means a lot and I know you are right, especially in Andrews case. I just feel so helpless watching him struggle and it's hard because I want so much to make it better for him. Deep down I know only he can do that when he's ready. I just hope that I get to be there when that happens. The hug was good. :)
Miss you on Facebook. What's new in your world?

Michelle V. Alkerton said...

You can check out my blog to see what's new with me :).

Brain Angles - Invisible Ink

Stay inspired!
Michelle