Friday, September 9, 2011

A Lot of Changes

So... this blog has been long neglected, but one of my best friends Eunice recently started a blog about her teaching experiences in New York, and she inspired me to get back into the habit of blogging about teaching! :)

This is a new year, and I am in a new teaching placement! Same school, just a different job. Last year was my first year of teaching, and I was an ESL teacher. This year, I am teaching 1st grade. Man, it is really different! I think the biggest difference is flexibility - as a classroom teacher, the time with your kids is all day (except for specials and lunch) and whatever needs to be done is your responsibility. I felt that as an ESL teacher I had a lot more flexibility and I kind of miss being able to move around from classroom to classroom, but right now, I also enjoy having my own group of kids.

There are exciting days where I see tons of growth and exhausting days where I sometimes wonder why I chose teaching in the first place. But the exciting days far outweigh the exhausting days.

One cool thing that happened today was that I taught my students about 9/11. My students were born after 9/11, so when I posed this question to them, "When you hear 9/11, do you think of anything? What have you heard about 9/11?" I was met with blank stares. My students seriously had no clue why 9/11 was significant. I told them briefly where I was during 9/11 ten years ago, and a few facts about what happened. I chose a book "The Fireboat" to read to them (it's a fabulously written children's book that tells the 9/11 story in an age-appropriate way) and my students had a lot of really good questions. It was a really profound discussion because I think my students have never really thought about the fact that anger and hate can sometimes drive people to hurt others - the book doesn't really go into that but it is something we discussed briefly. One child told me he wanted to cry when he thought about it - the whole thing made him sad. This discussion really reminded me of how significant the whole event was - I got a tiny bit emotional as I was talking about it, and I think my students sensed it too. Our school did a moment of silence over the intercom, and my students did great - they understood what it was for and everyone was respectful.

What a great thing it is to be a teacher, and teach these young kids about all sorts of history and skills that they will take with them for life!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

funny stories

just wanted to jot down some funny stories that happened recently:

me: so what is the title of our poem?
students: old macdonald had a farm.
me: okay, so now let's read the story.
(students read the poem)
student: comma!
me: what's that?
student: comma!
me: (surprised... as my students barely know what a period is) where is the comma?
(he points it out)
me: wow! has your teacher been teaching you punctuation?
student: no... ms. pan, you taught me that last week!
(wow, i didn't even remember...)
then my students proceeded to sing the song saying "comma" every time they saw one. haha!

during word study:
student: ms. pan, is this word "nine"?
me: yes. how can you use it in a sentence?
student: hmm... ms. pan is nine years old. that's a good one!
(that would make me... one year older than the student. haha!)

student: ms. pan... i have a boyfriend.
me: um... you are a little young to have a boyfriend (she's in kindergarten!).
student: my boyfriend is him (points to student across the desk)
other student: what? i'm not your boyfriend!

(while teaching five little monkeys)
me: okay, so why doesn't the doctor want the monkeys to jump on the bed?
student: because you will fall off and bump your head.
other student: yeah, and it's not good to bump your head.
me: why not?
student: because you have a brain and it could hurt it. but i know how to bump my head so it won't hurt my brain.

LOL, these kids keep me laughing each day. i need to write down more stories!