Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Nice Connectioin

Day 4-
Things were actually getting more or less underway today.  In the environmental science course, those kids actually got to dive into some good old fashioned content.  The kids were sometimes engaged, sometimes not.  I suppose that's the nature of trying to teach a huge class as well as a huge AP class. There's certain things that you have to get through in order to be considered a college course.  The workbook they're working out of is a really cool concept.  It's all about look at the economy and vocations from a green perspective and learning about it that way.  It's a college course through SFSU (my dear, dear alma mater) where these kids get real college credit.  Sometimes, I'm not sure they understand right now how amazing an opportunity that really is, but who am I to judge.  I didn't see what was in front of my face sometimes in high school.  Silly underdeveloped prefrontal cortex.

Onto my lovely physics kids.  Part of how the EL system works is they get evaluated and sorted by their english teachers, so the classes we've had all week are no longer the classes we have now.  Second period earlier was silent and uncomfortable.  Now, we have a larger range of abilities in the class and so there's more talking, they all work together and students who weren't trying at all yesterday are excelling today.  The biggest surprise for me was Miguel.  He's got a twin brother with whom he seemed rather attached.  They didn't stand out besides the fact that there were two identical faces looking blankly at me.  Today, Miguel on his own was forming hypotheses, writing fantastic english and following directions perfectly.  I can't wait to watch him develop.  We also have other hardworking and helpful students with fantastic spirits in the class, but he stood out  because of his major growth over such a short period of time.  Another student, Heyling, was so inquisitive today.  She was asking about all sorts of english words for the observation activity to create more complicated sentences, so I obliged her as much as I could.  

Lunch came next, and I spent a bit of it doing homework by myself when a student came in.  We'd talked about her future goals earlier and she found out I read comic books and she wanted to discuss them.  She's a fairly outspoken person and we had a great kind of getting to know you chat.  I think the reason she approached me is because I look relatively close to her age.  Some of these kids look older than me, and some actually are based on when they came to the United States.  She's actually in a special situation that she kind of has to figure her life out pretty quick, and she has ambitions and goals that are not easy to achieve in this economy.  My demo teacher says she has great ideas, but limited follow-through, and in the art restoration field, that's going to be tough but I have faith that this girl can do something fantastic with her life if she just gets in the right mindset.

One last thing: day two of swimming.  I both love and hate my own ambitions right now.
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