Today was unfortunately the last day with my 3rd graders. Every session I held literally flew by, but it was still a great experience overall. I did my best to teach those kids about the city and I think the teacher saw that. I told the class that I might come back if they stayed on their best behavior. We’ll see if that actually happens. I created some good relationships with those kids and I know they’d be happy to see me again.
After completing the program, I have a new found respect for teachers. It is not an easy job and I think most of us take our teachers for granted. Teachers play a crucial role in our society and we should treat them accordingly. I also learned a lot about myself. I think I did well considering how hard young children are to handle. If I decide to volunteer again, I will most definitely move up to middle school.
I think the reason I enjoyed this program so much is because I always had a small passion for becoming a teacher. It’s fun telling people what to do, especially when you’re actually helping them. It really does feel good to help. I’m glad I can say I participated in this program.
It turns out I was anxious for nothing. I went into the 3rd grade classroom with an open mind and the children welcomed me with smiles and fantastic participation. My first session with the kids went by in a flash! After I gave myself a warm introduction we got into the material I was to teach. As soon as I began, I realized that I would need to tailor my lesson plan to better work with the students. Everyone seemed eager to learn during my introduction, but when we started doing activities it got harder and harder for the kids to follow along. I did my best to make sure everyone was keeping up by walking around the classroom and asking several questions. I have never taught before, let alone taught people that young. It was quite a challenge to keep it entertaining yet fun for the children, but I believe I accomplished this task. After the lesson, the teacher pulled me aside and told me what a great job I did. She asked me if I was nervous, to which I replied,”Is it that obvious?” and she just smiled and said,”You handled the classroom very well. I’m impressed!” I knew after that first session that my next four would be a breeze. Or so I thought…
The second session was a little bit different than my first. Just like the first day, I arrived 15 minutes early to set up my material for the lesson, but this time there was an unexpected surprise. I walk into my classroom and find a substitute teacher! This is only a big deal because the teacher was helping me keep the kids on good behavior. Without the actual teacher I knew that the classroom would be on the verge of chaos at every moment. This of course threw me off at the beginning of the lesson. I also had to decide how I would catch up to the assigned lesson plan which we fell behind on the first day. Needless to say, I was dealing with quite a few things at once. When the kids saw me in their classroom for the second time, they were on their best behavior yet. They know that when I’m in the class they’re having fun, and that’s how I want it to be. It makes my job that much easier.
As of right now, I have 3 more sessions scheduled with my elementary school teacher. I hope that no more surprises pop up in my last classes, but that’s wishful thinking. All I can do is prepare and make sure I’m ready for anything and everything these kids throw at me. I’m looking forward to it.
I’ve always wondered how I would go about running a classroom and thanks to Junior Achievement I finally have that opportunity. I originally learned about Junior Achievement through one of my classes. My teacher encouraged us to sign up by telling us we would receive 100 points of extra credit. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity. I haven’t even started teaching my class yet and already I’m feeling the pressures of time and deadlines.
First I was required to go to the Junior Achievement office to pick the school that was right for me. After waiting in line and looking at several schools I finally decided on Elrod Elementary, which is only 15-20 minutes away from where I stay. I even got the grade I intentionally asked for: 3rd grade. Third grade was by far one of my best school years and that’s why I chose to teach at this level.
After I was assigned a school and a teacher, it was up to me to get in contact with her. I immediately emailed her later that day to ensure I would hear back from her soon. She emailed me back two days later and we set a date to meet in person. When we met in person we talked about the lessons I would be doing and when were good days for me to come in.
Tomorrow is my first day in the 3rd graders’ class and I must say that I am quite nervous. There is really no reason to be nervous though. Junior Achievement gave me all the materials I’ll need to conduct the lesson, the teacher is very nice and I’m sure the students will be well behaved. I’m not great at public speaking. I can admit that fault, but that is why I’m doing this. I want experience speaking in front of audiences; even if the audience is less than half my age. My goal is to keep improving this skill and to get better with every lesson.