Well, there’s a lot that has happened in the last couple of weeks! My goodness, there’s a lot that happens in a day in internship!
I am up to teaching Social, Phys Ed, and Religion now. Some days that is most of the afternoon.
I’d like to be as honest and frank as I can while blogging this semester, so I’d like to share one positive experience and one challenging experience each time.
To start with, the most challenging thing that I’ve experienced is the overwhelming feeling that I am not doing enough. Recall that I am in a Grade 3 class. We have a student that can’t tie her shoes, one that is just beginning to understand the hundreds chart, several that are much below reading level, an EAL student with very little comprehension, and several students that are either constantly out of their desks chatting, blurting out, or refusing to do anything. Add into this the social issues such as bullying and you’ve got a lot to deal with. Of course, I’ve always known this, but it’s different to be a part of it so completely. Each and every student needs something different and is at a different learning level and I can’t help but feel that I am not getting everyone what they need. Everyone that has offered encouragement has said, “You have to just do your best and be happy with that at the end of the day.” Great, but easier said than done!
My favourite experience so far was when one student (Madeline) came to me and said, “Miss Van Kannel, Judy is bullying Janice. Judy said that she was weird and smelled funny.” I said, “Well, you’re in Grade 3 now, can you think of what you could do?” Madeline said, “I could tell her Janice is my friend and I think she’s cool. Don’t be mean.” I said, “Well, that’s a good start. And you came and told me. That’s good too. Do you think you can try the first part?” She said yes and off she went. I watched the conversation between Madeline and Judy from afar and got more worried as Judy put her head down on her desk. I thought, “Oh, great, what have I caused? Is Madeline being cruel now?” But I didn’t really want to step in and interfere at that point so I stepped closer to see if I could hear what was being said and remained an observer. Madeline came back to me after a couple minutes and said, “It worked, Miss Van Kannel! Judy is really sorry and didn’t mean to be a bully. She is going to ask Janice if she wants to play with us at recess.” YAY! A tiny success that no one else in the class noticed, but that meant the world to me… Will it always “work”? No. But that day it did. And if I’ve learned anything so far, it’s to take ONE DAY AT A TIME. 🙂