Monday, May 6, 2013

Hit the ground running

This year when I came to Nome I felt myself enter survival mode. I was in a completely new place with people absolutely unknown to me. My experience getting here was a difficult one and I hit the ground running. My school year started the day after I landed. I met the kids, parents, and other staff all in one burst of excitement. Looking back, I know the school year started off as me trying to assimilate into my new surroundings. I was learning more about my environment than my students were and I was trying to take it all in so fast I swept certain things under the rug completely. I was new, fresh, and trying to fit in. Things as simple and necessary as routine and expectations were skipped over in my attempt to keep running and not fall. As the year dwindles now I see mistakes were made on my part. I have spent the year trying to catch up and rein in the difficulties that are a result of my ill formed expectations and procedures at the beginning of the school year. Despite the shortcomings on my part, I have learned a great deal. I know better now how I would like to start next year. I have a much better understanding of how to manage a larger class than I am used to as well as interacting with more opinionated parents; I am a young white woman stepping into a largely native population with a strong backing from elders. I was given several opportunities to enroll in classes and read books about classroom and behavior management. I am grateful for the materials and mentoring I have been given this past year. I am still struggling because once misbehaviors are learned and haven’t been dealt with, they are hard to overcome and break down. My students are not terrible, they have grown a great deal the last few months, but they still need to grow. I am attempting to rein in their behaviors these final weeks of kindergarten. I am trying to instill more mature behaviors that have been lacking because my expectations were not always clear throughout the year. These students have grown significantly since the fall; many have complete knowledge of their letters, numbers, and sounds, each of my students knows their alphabet, shapes, and colors, and many can add and subtract with ease. I am proud of my students. My pride is lacking in myself because I let so much slide by me at the beginning of the school year. My goals are clear for next year. 

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