Monday, September 7, 2009

It's been a whirlwind of a week....

The past has been the first week (while in Korea) where I've felt there is not enough time in the day to get everything I want to do done. Classes have been going very well. We started a new semester on Monday (8/31) and my Co-teacher rearranged my morning routine which totally threw off the kids. It feels that the kids and I seem to have figured each other out and we both are settling in to this new routine.

My morning K class is a super busy, high energy, needy, awesome, wonderful, brilliant group. Everyday we hit the floor running at 9:30am and there is not a lull in the day. I have been struggling with a couple things in the classroom and am trying to put together the puzzle to make things flow.

My first head slamming against the wall moment has to do with a student. Ian is my biggest challenge in the classroom. He was very attached to the previous teacher and has been having separation issues since I arrived. My Co-teacher has informed me that his family background is a bit bumpy which makes things hard for him on many levels. We are working on building a trust between us and it seems like there is progress everyday. He has responded really we to taking on roles in the classroom that gives him a bit of power and allows him to receive positive recognition from his peers.

The second thing I have been struggling with is the cultural and developmental expectations. The kindergarten classroom that I left in LA at The Oaks was a rare environment. The kids came first and there was a major attempt to reach each individual child's developmental needs. The curriculum was flexible and could be manipulated to flow with the student. It was ultimately a developmental learning space that one of my most inspirational teachers (Bean) created. Culturally and developmentally the classroom that I am in now seems like two different worlds. Our curriculum now is very traditionally structured and makes my skin crawl having to do this odd dance of actually doing the workbooks with the kids, and doing things that are developmentally appropriate for 6 year old kids. My first week in class one my own I made an honest attempt at running the show like they wanted me to. The only problem was at the end of the day both the kids and I were miserable. I've decided, with the kids help that if we get our work done in the end, then it doesn't matter how we get it done. If that means not sitting like drones and not going through the motions then so be it. Some people just learn better if the are laying upside down and working.

Here are some pictures of pizza day from about 2 weeks ago.

Phew.... Sorry about that. Just had to vent, and where better than on here.

Listening to The Maccabees Wall of Arms.

1 comment:

  1. You are so intuitive and have such a wonderful feel for the children's needs both emotionally and developmentally. Therapeutically, I would have advised you to do just what you are doing with this child with higher needs. Great for you for giving him back some of his power and control. Stuart, don't ever forget that play is learning. You will be someone these children remember all of their lives.