This week was all about acclimating myself to the classroom and the students. I spent the first two days really trying to learn the student's names. By the third day, I was starting to get the hang of most of their names but I still needed the attendance sheet to remind me of the names of the students in each class. Quite frankly, I'm surprised that I've learned their names as quickly as I have. It took me a few months to learn my Teen Book Club teens names confidently and it only took me three days here.
Things I Learned:
Speaking of names, I never realized how important it was to the students for me to know their name until I started to learn them. The ones who I did remember quickly lit up when I spoke their name. The ones who names it took me a little longer to learn seemed exasperated with me. Learning their names helped me build a rapport with them and it's insane how far I've gotten in building a relationship with each of them just by learning their name.
Also, some kids know how to impress. I had two boys shake my hand when I introduced myself the first day. Their actions left such a distinct mark in my mind, I remembered their names instantly.
Things I Still Need to Learn:
Using a decent inside voice when I'm at home or work. I'm so used to hearing loud voices all day or projecting my own voice that I find myself speaking loudly when I'm in quieter settings. It's going to be an adjustment switching between the chaos of the class to the quiet of home/work (side irony note here, I used to think work was loud...).
I taught a few lessons Friday and apparently I have a very monotone voice. I tried to fix it after the first lesson I taught and ended up only talking louder not with more inflection. This is definitely something I need to work on.
Memorable Moment of the Week:
My first day I remembered the name of one girl in particular very quickly. When I approached her for the second time of the day and called her by her name her eyes widened and she had this look of surprise on her face. She said to me, "you know my name?" and seemed genuinely shocked that I would remember her so quickly. The look on her face absolutely melted my heart and made the entire exhausting, chaotic day worthwhile. It reminded me why I worked so hard to get to this point.
Looking Forward To:
Teaching a few more classes...hopefully learning how not to talk in a monotone voice?
Before starting this, I was terrified. Enough so that I thought I might have been making a big mistake and that this might not be for me. At the end of my first day I was still wavering. By the end of my second day, I realized that I might actually really enjoy myself and learn a lot from this experience and that it's okay to wonder.