Sunday, February 3, 2013

Full of surprises

I am helping out in Ms. Daniel’s 6th grade Earth Science class this semester. Ms. Daniel teaches at Woodland Middle School in East Point, GA. I can already tell that my experience at Woodland is going to be full of surprises. This past week I started interacting with the students by helping them with an in-class activity that involved searching for answers on the Internet. The students were given laptops and instructions for how to get to the websites where they could find answers to the questions. I helped out by walking around the room to make sure students weren’t straying from the websites they were allowed to be on and by answering questions they had.

Most of the students I helped only needed assistance in navigating to the correct websites. They may have had a typo in the URL or had missed a phrase. A few needed guidance in finding the answers on the webpages, but for the most part they knew what they were doing. There has been something that has surprised me every time I have observed in Ms. Daniel’s class so far (and I’m sure it will continue to happen). Almost every instance where I helped a student, he or she said “Thank you” to me. There was even one boy who said, “Yes ma’am” after I asked him a question. I was blown away by how polite these students were. I interact with adults on a daily basis who are not as polite as these children are. Even though the students come from disadvantaged backgrounds they still recognize the importance of being polite and respectful when someone who cares about them helps them. I can already say that I care about each and every one of the students that I have been given the privilege to work with.

There is one more surprise I would like to share. Before class started a student named John walked in and upon seeing Ms. Daniel said, “Ms. Daniel! I missed you!” and gave her a hug (she had not been in school the day before). He then looked at me, walked over, and said, “Hello. I don’t think we’ve met. What’s your name?” He then extended his hand in order to shake mine. He said he didn’t recognize me and I told him I would be helping out every Tuesday for the rest of the year and eventually teaching the class about health. He then went to his seat and got ready for class. After the class was over and before he left the room, he turned to me and said, “Have a good day! See you later!” What surprises have you experienced so far?



  1. I'm so happy to hear that my students were so respectful and appreciative when you were helping them with their review assignment! I definitely saw them being very receptive to your assistance. I am excited to see how this continues in the months to come as you get more involved with each lesson.

    It's wonderful to have a fresh perspective in the classroom to remind me of the type of behavior and attitude my students are capable of when they are at their best. On days where they may NOT be so polite or respectful, it is easy to forget this. Your experience reminds me to keep my expectations for my students' behavior high, so that I get the best in the classroom everyday.

    -- Afkera

  2. I love it!

    It's interesting to think about how we are role models for this behavior as well. How often do any of us reach out to a new person in class or around Rollins?

  3. Heather,

    I've had some surprises in the classroom as well. My first came when I was in the classroom the second time, and Rachel told the students that I'd be available if they had any questions, and they actually wanted my help! For some reason I thought that these kids would not want anything to do with this stranger in the classroom, but they were so polite and really appreciated that I was there. The second surprise is a continuing one, that every week when I go into the classroom the students are happy to see me, and yesterday one student even asked "Miss Bannon, when are you going to teach a lesson?" I have to say I got really excited that they were excited to learn from me!