When you try your best but you don't succeed, When you get what you want but not what you need, when you feel so tired but you can't sleep, stuck in reverse... Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones, and I will try to fix you... ---Coldplay, "Fix You"
Well...it has been a little bit of time since I've given a new post. I think I wanted to give myself some time before I wrote something while I was exasperated or angry. My experiences in the past week and a half still slay me, but I suppose it is all a part of the learning experience for me as I try to become that great teacher way off in the distance of my goals.
Last Wednesday the students had a test over nouns, pronouns and possesives. Every single question was in the review game we played the day before, as well as in their notes somewhere. When the test day rolled around, I heard many students say, "Yeah, I didn't study." Guess how their test scores came out? Yup, many failed. My CT told us that we did everything that we could to prepare them, the test wasn't hard, and that it was a personal choice they made not to study. Many of the kids said that the test "had too many directions." (They had to circle the proper nouns and underline the common nouns at most).
I can't believe how much I have to hold their hands sometimes. I'm slowly beginning to realize how different I am from these kids. I always loved school. I wanted to do well. I didn't need to be told how to study or even how to take notes. The question becomes, "How do I fix this?" I think that when I teach in my own classroom, I'm going to have to develop a mini-unit on how to develop good study skills, especially if I teach in a school like the one I'm in now. A lot of the kids I'm working with place homework on the back burner, and for many of them getting a second meal for the day is a primary concern. It all relates back to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
I wish I had an answer or that I could fix the problem. I know grammar isn't the most exciting thing in the world to learn. It's not supposed to be taught in isolation the way my CT is doing it, but I have to follow what she's doing. We're finished with grammar for awhile after tomorrow, then the kids have a break (hallelujah!) and then we get to do the unit that my partner and I are working on...or have yet to develop :)
They have a test over verbs tomorrow. We'll see what happens...