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Blog Entry 012: Signing Off

This will be my last blog entry in this little blog of mine exclusively for my LTS course and tonight’s our graduation! For this blog entry, I will present my insights about my student’s performance and progress.

So I first met my student when we were supervising the pre-assessment exams. He was doing fairy well and I didn’t catch him copying from another student’s test paper, rather another student was trying to take a peek of his paper, but he was gently reminded that it was to be answered independently.

For the duration of our time together, my student displayed an above satisfactory understanding of the lessons and performed well in the activities. He was able to answer most of the activities correctly without assistance, but there are instances when he’d commit errors in writing. He’s generally good at reading and is good at identifying which letter an object starts with.

As for his attitude in learning, he didn’t really show particular interest in learning about literacy nor did he take initiative during our activities. His enthusiasm started to decrease over time. He still did did the required activities, but that’s all he did.

As a teacher, I feel like I’ve failed in such a way that I wasn’t able to help my student take interest in learning about literacy. I wasn’t able to make our sessions interesting enough for him to feel excited about performing the activities. I wasn’t able to make the lessons seem engaging to him. And I wasn’t able to perform well, as his teacher, enough to make him want to take summer lessons.

But I do hope he learned a few things from me and our sessions together. I know that he’s a fast-learner, so hopefully he’d be able to pick things up quickly during his regular classes.

I think my LTS class really taught me a lot on how to be a more effective teacher. I really need to commit more time to study lesson plans and prepare the activities enjoyable to students. I need to work harder to keep my student’s attention on the activities at hand. And I need to make our sessions fun enough for them to take an interest in learning and in literacy.

Teaching my student might have been very challenging to me and I might have not fully overcome it, but I did learn a lot from this course and I enjoyed what I was able to do with it, as well.

 

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Blog Entry 010 & 011: May 8 & 15

Took me a while to update here because I’ve been really busy with my other classes. This class is as important to me as any other class, but I’ve been having problems with my other classes, so I kinda set this one aside for a moment.

Anyways, for the last two meetings of my LTS course, our class was divided into two: those tutees whose students were there and those without students. The former continued with the lesson plans while the latter were tasked the group together and perform a storytelling activity.

For both meetings, I was part of the storytelling group of the class. And, for the life of me, I can’t remember the titles of the two stories I was assigned to, but I can briefly explain what they’re about. So, the first story was about a kid who’s in a “magic chair” and his best friend. Not only did they travel to many places, but they also got to experience many wonderful and exciting things. It is revealed in the ending that the “magic chair” was a wheel chair and that with their incredibly vast imagination, they were able to make it all happen. Although the other kids weren’t able to realize it, the person in the wheel chair is also like them in every way, except one. They didn’t travel to the places nor did they get to experience wonderful and exciting things. And that’s their loss.

For the second story, it was about a town that was black and white because the whole place was covered in a thick layer of dust. Then, one day, a man with colorful clothes appeared and started a movement by cleaning a chair. The chair turned out to be red! And so the other townspeople started cleaning up, revealing that their town is actually filled with vivid colors!

So I think the storytelling performances for both of the meetings and the activities we had after the storytelling for the last meeting went very well. I think the groups were well-planned and very prepared to perform the story they were assigned to, complete with props and tricks that make the story more thrilling to listen to. Most of the students were attentive while the story was being told and cooperative while they were enjoying the game. Our professors even provided prizes for the winners and snacks afterwards.

 

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Blog Entry 008 & 009: April 17 & 24, 2017

Okay, so I wasn’t able to post entries for the past two Mondays yet and since nothing much happened, I decided to put it all in this one post.


For April 17, my student wasn’t around again, so I teamed up with two other tutors to teach one of their students, Philip. I didn’t last long there because Ma’am called for a few tutors to group up and to present a story.

I’ve forgotten the exact title of the storybook, but it was about an edible planet where the inhabitants, called “Nguyamyams”, ate and drank  the planet to their heart’s content. One nguyamyam realized the dangerous effects this might have, so he tried to warn the people. No one listened to him, so he got his family and flew to another planet. They got to safety, but they had to watch their old planet get smaller and smaller ’till it was no more. They then agreed to take care of their new planet and that’s how the story ends.

It was a very nice story and, in a subtle way, it talks about the environment and its resources. It teaches a valuable lesson that we shouldn’t take our resources for granted, rather we should take good care of it because the Earth is our home.

I admit that we weren’t able to present it as properly as we would’ve liked due to disorientation between our group of presenters, but in the end, we were able to fix it and end the story in a good way.


For April 24, there were less students. I was late and my student wasn’t there again, so I joined a group of two tutors and their student. I really should’ve noted the things for this blog during the lesson or right after it because I keep forgetting a lot of details. I remember that Claire was one of the tutors, but I can’t remember the name of the other tutor and the student we were teaching at the time.

The student was studying advanced lessons already, so we didn’t follow any particular lesson plan. She was having problems with vowels, so we focused on that. She was able to write the alphabet and identify the letters and how it sounds. We also read two storybooks to her and she was able to answer the questions related to the story during and after listening to us read it.

After the lesson, a new story was presented by a new set of tutors. It was also about the environment but the it was portrayed in another way.


The next session will be on May 8 because there won’t be any classes on Monday since it’s a holiday (Labor Day). I hope the students would still come and enjoy the lessons and fun we have for that session.

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Blog Entry 005: March 20, 2017

We weren’t able to conduct a one-on-one session today because the students were dismissed earlier to make way for a meeting among the teachers and faculty members. So instead, we continued the focus group discussion we had before proceeding to San Vicente Elementary School.

Basically, we were grouped according to the sections of our tutees, in my case, Hosea. Then, we were tasked to assign a facilitator and to record our discussion, so that it could be sent to our professors. Recording and sending it would allow the professors to watch it and to help us with what we struggle with.

So in the discussion, we answered the questions that are usually guide questions for writing a blog entry each week. More or less, our answers were common and we were able to share experiences and possible solutions for the challenges that we face.

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Blog Entry 003: March 6, 2017

Hello again! Only posting this week because we didn’t have class last week due to the suspension of classes in San Vicente Elementary School. Classes were suspended because of the national transport strike that occurred that day.

Last session, I’ve noticed that Don has become more playful and while it is good that he’s somewhat active, I feel that it takes some of his interest in the lesson we were discussing at the time. But, as usual, that wasn’t a hindrance to his excellent performance in our tasks. He also observed that all the other kids were doing the same activities as we were. When I asked him if he wanted me to give him extra activities, he declined politely.

I’d say that he understood the lessons very well, but he doesn’t show any interest in learning advanced lessons or supplementary lessons. He differentiated the things that started with the letters “Aa” and “Mm” properly and he found the activity where he was supposed to color the things starting with “Aa” and “Mm” in particular colors very easy and even joked about it saying it was just in alternating order.

When we read the prescribed books, I had to guide him with the wordless storytelling, but he was able to fill out the blanks I laid out for him. He showed understanding of the story and how the character felt in the scenarios that happened in the story.

He still doesn’t show much initiative in learning more about literacy, but I’ve observed that he performs very well in our tasks. Hopefully, our future activities would make him more interested in learning more about it.

The challenges I faced during last sessions was getting him immersed in our activity. Although he did show more interest in it than he had in our previous sessions, I feel that it still isn’t enough to make him actively chase after more knowledge about literacy.

I tried facing the challenges by making my materials look more interesting and it worked a bit. Hopefully next session, I will be able to get his attention easier and make him enjoy the lessons more.

 

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Blog Entry 002: February 20,2017

Last week’s session was a bit more challenging than the one two weeks before. While performing the task, my student was clearly bored and his mind was elsewhere. He did accomplish the tasks I asked him to do, but I needed to call his attention several times in the middle of tasks. I don’t think he found the tasks particularly interesting, but he wasn’t that hard to deal with either. As usual, he was nice enough to me as his teacher. I observed that he was best friends with a fellow student named Denver. When we were done with the tasks, he seemed like he wanted to play, like the other students are teachers were playing, but when I asked him which group we should join, he didn’t really feel like joining others. When he and Denver got together again, they started playing and running around with only the both of them.

He listened relatively to the story I told him and was able to recognize the things that started with the letter “Mm” Sound. He was able to draw his favorite foods and determine whether or not they started with the letter “Mm” sound. I had to guide him with the wordless story-telling because he was having trouble constructing the story. He was able to follow my lead and we finished the story with him recognizing whether the character had a happy or sad emotion.

He didn’t seem that we was interested in learning more of the lesson that the task taught him. He was cooperative enough, but not to the extent that I’d think he’s enthusiastic about what he’s learning. He did what he had to do and that’s that. He didn’t show initiative in literacy learning at all which is something we need to work on.

He misspelled a few words, such as spaghetti, and since we didn’t have much time during that session, I plan to note the words he misspelled, write it all down, teach it to him, and let him keep the handout. Other than that and his passivity to learn new things about literacy, he performed rather well.

As I said, my biggest challenge in teaching literacy is keeping his attention on the task and making him more excited about the lessons, to the point where he would want to learn more than the required lessons. Sadly, at the time, I didn’t know what to do in such situation, but he might be more excited if I could integrate games into the task, at the very least, so he wouldn’t get bored.

I haven’t noticed any change in my student’s learning nor have I noticed any change in my teaching yet, but last week’s session was only our third one-on-one session and we’re still progressing. I look forward to more teaching sessions to come to develop his literacy skills, him as a student and a person, and me as a teacher and “ate”.

 

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Blog Entry 001: February 13, 2017

Last February 13, 2017, we went to San Vicente Elementary School to conduct our first one-on-one session with the student assigned to us. The community we are working with is a small yet simple one. Going to the school, we passed by some houses, a bridge, and a lot of small sari-sari stores and carinderias along the way. There were also a few chickens and stray dogs around the area where we walked.

The school we’re working with is a public elementary school. First, we entered the gate that led us to the waiting shed for the parents waiting for their children to be dismissed and for students waiting to be permitted to enter the school premises. From what we saw, the school has three buildings and a covered court. The classrooms were big enough for the students for each section and the student-teacher ratio was at a satisfactory level.

The first time we went to the school was for the site visit. We didn’t get to encounter much children then, but a few smiled at us and acknowledged our presence. The second time was when we conducted the mass assessment exam.

As you would expect of elementary students, they were noisy and very playful. Although I went to a different school, it reminded me a lot of how life was when I was in elementary. It seemed like a long time ago and I felt a happy seeing the students because it reminded me of how my friends and I were like, too. Most of the students were behave enough, but there were some who caused trouble and a few who noticeably copied answers from their classmates.

After checking the assessment exams, our professors determined the students who needed supplementary lessons. In other words, they determined the students whom we can help with our literary training service. We gathered the chosen students from each classroom and led them to the gym where the one-on-one session would be held.

The name of the student I was assigned to is Don Miguel. I had met him before during the mass assessment exam and my first impression of him was that he wasn’t that bad at the exam and that he was behave enough not to start or get involved in a ruckus while we were there.

He performed rather well in the first one-on-one session we had which was an assessment exam to understand where they’re having trouble with. He opened up to me when I asked him a few personal questions about his favorite game, how it is played, who he plays with, and the like. He listened to me while I was telling the story Ang Pamilya Ismid and answered the follow-up questions satisfactorily. Though he got confused with some of the letters, he correctly answered most of the alphabet questions wherein he was asked to identify, pronounce, and match the big letters to the small ones. He was also able to read and recognize the test that involved familiar logos of products or services.

There were times when he seemed either bored or distracted while we were conducting the session. We also weren’t able to finish the exam because he urgently needed to go to the comfort room. Everything considered, he performed nicely and was able to answer the questions properly.

From the results of what we were able to finish last meeting, I was able to get to know my student a bit more than our initial introduction. I also have an idea of what he is able and unable to do at the moment, which is helpful for me to match my pace of teaching.

This experience gave me an opportunity to interact more closely with a student which is very much like making a new friend, a much younger friend in this case. I felt happy while reading the story to him and I hope that I can help in his growth and literacy development.