Thursday, October 31, 2013


Today marked my third week of actually teaching in the classroom.  Sometimes I think my lessons are too easy, all the 2nd graders I work with know the shapes of letters and can recognize them, but then an activity trips them up.  For example:

Class, how many 'f's are in this sentence I'm going to read to you?

Five fish swam away.


Oh boy.  They have no trouble listing words that start with a letter, and they're getting better at understanding the idea of phonetic sounds (B goes 'buh' not 'bah'), but listening skills are just, well. Not there.  But that's my job isn't it? I have the native accent!  Not that 'f' sounds different in Amharic, or Oromifya.  Still.

What really gets me is how excited the students are.  My first class is the first one after the recess, and as soon as they see me coming they're racing to their seats.  The second week, when I entered class I heard whispers along the lines of 'yay! she's back' and today it was the largest, most enthusiastic 'HELLO TEACHER!' I've ever heard.

I've also been noticing some of the secondary outcomes I was hoping for.  One teacher took time out to watch one of my lessons (though I wish he didn't arrive late to his own class to do so), and the second grade teacher I've been working with has 1) started looking into phonics on his own and asking me questions during his rest period  as well as 2) been taking a more active role in each mini lesson. It's no longer me doing a 7 minute phonics instruction, it's a 7 minute team-taught lesson.

I should have done this last year!

Also meet with staff at the secondary school today, I want to start a biweekly English music club.  My teachers' English club was supposed to start next week, but I'll have to push that back because apparently school will be closed next week so the kids can help with the harvest.  That's something that doesn't happen in America!

Well, at least not in my towns.  Maybe in rural Wisconsin? 


Annalisa Crawford said...

It's awesome to be appreciated, isn't it? Sounds like you're doing a great job, and making the lessons fun. Kids tell you when they don't like something! :-)

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