My friend asked me what it feels like to be a week away from completing half of my college career. I promptly told him to stop speaking to me. I know that there are a few juniors(soon to be seniors) that are probably rolling their eyes reading this… but I bet you were thinking the same thing at the end of your sophomore year. It is crazy to think about how fast college is flying by, and so I think this post about reflection is somewhat appropriate.
This past year I was a member of Ann Arbor Languages Program. I went into three different 3rd grade classrooms and taught Spanish for 30 mins every Tuesday and Thursday. The program was demanding, stressful, sleep depriving, and infuriatingly time consuming.It left me exhausted.
Yet I would do it all again. I am certain now that I would never want to be an elementary school teacher, and if nothing else, I gained that from the whole experience.
I know this post is supposed to be reflecting on writing, and in a way, this experience for me was all about writing. I had to write up a lesson for every day that I taught. 44 different lesson scripts. Each one different from the next. These scripts were not just bullets listing the events. I had to dig deep and describe what I was going to do and why it was important that I do so. Here is an excerpt from one such lesson:
Ropa/Color Worksheets 10 min – end
-These worksheets are going to be done in groups – I have chosen to use six characters because every class has six different table groups and so every group will be able to work on a different person—-i will have my own person that I will model before I pass out the worksheet emphasizing again that there needs to be ropa y color so when I am demonstrating I say zapatos NEGROS———making sure to stress the color part of the answer——–then I will pass out the papers, since there will only be six it would take more time to call up a volunteer————-keep repeating “en groupos – en groupos” – so they know to work in groups ——there will be a slide now with all the colors and all the names of the clothing types, because the students usually know the word they want but they get frustrated when they cant spell it——–also when I am walking around I can help the students out by pointing at the slides—— -when I see that they re done I will call up the students by groups and ask them to share ———this may be a little hard for some of the shy students so I will allow one person to speak for the group, because I realize that not everyone is comfortable speaking up front———-the point is to have the group be involved and so its four kids sharing instead of one raising their hand
And that is just one ten minute segment of a lesson. Sure, this was one of my more in-depth scripts, but I think I get my point across. I learned a lot about how to think for other people’s needs. This can directly relate to my writing. I need to be aware of my audience and address their needs. Not to mention that I was doing a good deal of writing almost every night. The content is not exactly riveting or inspirational to read, but I can honestly say that I was writing. This is something that I am guilty of not always doing. Just sitting down and writing was very revealing after awhile. I did eventually expand to more than just “the colors.” I was able to write some stories not pertaining to the classroom and I just carried on with what had already been set in motion. So while there may have been a lot of pieces I was assigned to complete, the constant time spent in front of a keyboard actually became very beneficial for me.