After going into York High School today, I really got a sense of what it’s like to be in a classroom. My experience working with students is fairly limited, and I really enjoyed working in these small groups. I think that having only three students in my group made my own transition from student to teacher easier, as I wasn’t expected to get up in front of an entire class and lecture them about writing. Working with these students, I felt that I used a lot of what we discussed in class, not only in terms of teaching them strategies, but our emphasis on learning each other’s names and listening intently about the subjects we discuss. I think that these interactions were really useful, because the students seemed to want to talk about what they were planning on writing and sharing their work so far because I tried to be more conversational with them. I tried to pay attention to each of them, and while I couldn’t exactly get a sense of their learning styles, being able to see what they were struggling with in in that first class period gave me a good idea of what to say about writing.
Now, working on giving feedback on the assignment we did in class, I feel that I am developing a much greater understanding of how to respond to students. Knowing how sensitive teenagers in high school can be, I think it’s important to really take the time to write out the good and the bad in their work, so that they can see what they have done write and feel good about it instead of feeling dejected with the bad marks on their papers. I want to be as attentive as possible to their development, and make sure that the feedback I am giving them is going to be useful to them not just for this particular paper, but the rest of the year (and further into the future). I think that working with these students has given me a better perspective on what it means to truly work with a student, and adapt not only to get them to understand your method of thinking, but to look at how they think and use that to help them improve.