Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Almost two months

The weeks have gone by extremely fast, and weekends go by even faster.  Thankfully, I haven’t gotten sick yet. Last weekend I had the luxury to work with a volunteer group from Lexington, MA. I worked at the farm with them from Friday-Sunday building a shed. Its always refreshing to work with the volunteer groups that come down because they remind me of why I’m here. They remind me of how lucky I am to have this opportunity, and after some long long weeks of teaching it’s sometimes very needed to have that reminder. Speaking of groups, I’m beyond excited to see some familiar faces from Stonehill this weekend, it feels like I’m having family coming to visit.

There are some days when I stop and think about how much I miss my Stonehill life, “damnn did I have it good”.  Yes there were some intense stressful moments when I would curse-out Stonehill every chance I could, but it was mostly my fault for procrastinating and leaving everything for the last minute. Somedays I think about how much I had, not in terms of material stuff but of how much access to learning opportunities I had- if that makes any sense. I could’ve easily gone to a professor just to chat about politics, easy access to the New York Times, internet 24/7, a decent selection of books at the library, guest speakers, workshops, clubs, internships and much more that Stonehill offered. My advice to all current students is to take advantage of all those opportunities. Sometimes it may seem impossible to “waste” an hour or two out of your “crammed” day, but the gained knowledge is very well worth it. My other advice is to take advantage of the PARTY aspect of college. Partying in college and partying in real life are very distinct. Party as much as you can while also maintaining a good GPA, a skill that you should’ve developed freshmen year.

Teaching takes a lot of preparation-which takes a lot of time- a lot time that I don’t really have. I feel like I prepare the minimum for each class, which has been working, but I wish I had the time to over-prepare for each class. The girls had their exams this past week. I felt very confident that they were well prepared for it, but their grades weren’t that great. It’s really hard for me to fail my students especially because I know that they all could’ve easily passed.  Many of them made easy errors, which cost them a lot of points. Even though I tell them to read each question carefully, they still rush through the questions and don’t review their answers. It also doesn’t help that the test was very very poorly written.

Classroom management has been a major problem for me recently. I’ve made the mistake to step over the line between teacher and friend. Being at the school for about 13hrs a day definitely allows to have a close bond with the students. The first action I took was to put my foot down and talk with the class and re-set some rules.  I also told them that I wanted to speak with each of their parents. So far I’ve meet with more than half of their parents. Some of the parents were really shy and would just nod their heads, while others were really interested to find out how their daughters were doing. Overall it went pretty well because the students now know that I could talk to their parents if there’s ever any issues.

working at the farm

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