Surviving Week 1: Who is the Teacher?

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So school has officially started this past Monday, June 17th! I can’t believe I have been teaching my “own” class for a week. So how has the week been?  It’s been a whirlwind of emotions and experiences. Let me just quickly recount some the things I faced during the first week.

My school for the next two years, Sitaram Abaji PMC in Pune

My school for the next two years, Sitaram Abaji PMC in Pune

With no designated classroom the first day, my kids (20 showed up on the first day) walked up and down 4 floors at least 3 times within a span of 5 minutes. By the time we got a temporary class allocated to us, my kids were quite drained and actually, so was I. But it was okay as the kids greeted me with huge smiles on the first day. They were budding with questions…what did I do before? Where do I live? What do I like to eat? Day 1 ended on a good note, I was able to teach them at least two class procedures and I was content with that. I was all charged up for Day 1!

Class 5B on a Saturday Morning!

Class 5B on a Saturday Morning!

Day 2 rolled around and it was a completely different story. Not only did I realize that due to lack of teachers in the school, I am actually acting like a class teacher for my 5th grade students. On one hand, this was a victory as I now get more time with the students and can really focus on building the core values. However, inside I was panicking because I hadn’t planned enough activities for them!!! On top it all, I felt like I had forgotten everything that was taught to me during institute, especially giving explicit directions and accounting for all things that could go wrong in a class. Anything that could go wrong…pretty much did. I had kids hitting one another, climbing on tables, running around screaming on top of their heads, and one even cried. I was with my kids the entire day and I felt that I was able to teach them nothing. They weren’t listening at all, there was no management in the class, and by the end of it, I almost was on the verge of tears. I left the school thinking will my class ever become the “model” class shown to us in the training videos? Will I ever be able to teach and make a change for these kids? I even asked myself…who is the teacher…me or them?

My individual, Harry Potter, inspired tracker. The kids really want those snitches!

My individual, Harry Potter, inspired tracker. The kids really want those snitches!

I came back home and found myself planning even more. I had to figure out enough activities to keep the students engaged and interested in the class. I hadn’t planned to really bring my class consequences out this early, but decided that this was probably the way to go. Oh, I forgot to mention, I am using Harry Potter as the basis of my class theme. I started giving individual students golden snitches for positive behavior. It worked like a charm!!! Kids wanted those golden snitches and I had everybody’s attention. A huge proud moment for me was when ALL of my students were lined up outside my class exactly as I wanted them to be before school started. I had the bragging rights of telling other fellows that those were my kids lined up neatly outside of the class 🙂

I don’t want to bore all of you but long story short, each day is a surprise. I never know what my kids will do or how they will behave. Which activities will work…which won’t. My daily plan for the kids is constantly running in my mind, how can I make the class better. What do I need to focus on. It’s a challenge, but so far, I am enjoying this journey!

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13 responses »

  1. Teachers really do deserve a lot of credit, especially primary school teachers which is the basis of a students’ foundation. You are doing an amazing job Swara

  2. LOVE the golden snitches idea! I totally might steal that for my own students in my after-school program – snitches are so hard to get in Quidditch that it should feel extra special when they get them in the classroom!

    • Hello Lisa! Being with 10 & 11 years old for majority of the day leaves room for a lot of surprises. As irritated as I can get with the kids, they also make me smile a lot and that is what makes it worth it.

    • Hi Vineela! It’s a challenge but one I am definitely enjoying. Week 2 could have used a lot of improvement…and I am focusing on that I get ready for week 3:)

    • Tanya, thanks for your support. I will continue to update this blog with my teaching adventures. Week 2 was harder and left me thinking a lot…how can I improve the overall class behavior. My next post will have more details on this.

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