Back to School

Authored by:
Dana H.

Dana H.

Well I have just completed my first day as a language assistant! I'll lay out the basic happenings of the day to give you a little insight into what it will be like:

9:00-9:45: I assisted in a first grade class. The students had very little knowledge of English, and I was mostly just shadowing the teacher for this class. The teacher said that this was a good class, a quiet class-- to which I promplty thought to myself "this is what you consider 'quiet'?" as the students were often talking over him and they seemed to have a lot of energy. But they're only about five or six years old, so it's to be expected.

9:45-10:30: I assisted in a fifth grade class. The teacher seemed to lay down the law and the students were quite well-behaved. I did a Powerpoint presentation about myself. The teacher encouraged them to ask me questions, but "nothing too personal, such as 'are you married?'" They were super curious and spent the whole class bombarding me with questions, one of the first of which was naturally, "are you married?" Others included "what is your favorite color?" (asked four times), and "Did you vote for Donald Trump?"

10:30-11:00: Coffee break in the teachers lounge. Some teachers came and introduced themselves, but most of the auxilares stuck together. There was free fruit, coffee, and snackies. They also had a compost bin which is nice.

11:00-11:45: I assisted in a different fifth grade class. I entered the classroom listed on my schedule, when two nice little girls found me and asked who I was. When I said I was there to assist in English, they said that English was in the next room over and then said, "we'll show you!" and walked me over there to explain to the teacher. Overall they definitely get points for maturity and helpfulness. It turns out more than one classroom was switched around on me which is always great fun on your first day of school. I did my Powerpoint presentation about myself and the students once again asked me many questions. Questions included, "do you like potatoes?", "do you like snakes?", "what's your favorite name of a boy?" and "what do you mean you've never seen Star Wars?"

11:45-12:30: I assisted in a fourth grade class. The students asked me a couple questions but the teacher cut them off in order to get to the lesson. She meant business. I took some students out in the hall to read with them. We read "Where the Wild Things Are," which I do not recall ever reading as a kid and either this version was translated poorly or the book just has strange grammatical structure. It also used the word "rumpus" which I'm glad none of the kids asked me about because I did not know what it means. I started by reading the whole book to the kids. Then I had them each alternate reading a page, and after each page they would ask me questions about the words they did not know.

12:30-2:30: I walked home (because I live 16 minutes from my school, hey-o!) and ate lunch.

2:30-3:15: I returned to the same fourth grade classroom. I took students out in the hall to once again read Where the Wild Things Are and also to help them with their English work book.

And that was my day! Overall the kids seem super eager to learn and super curious about me and my life (maybe too curious?). The staff at the school were all very helpful, especially in directing me to my classrooms (the school is huge-- 1500 kids, so it's easy to get lost). I'm excited to see what surprises tomorrow has in store.

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