Field Notes 2--Abby
What? No technology used When spelling new words, the teacher writes on the board: “saw to frnds” instead of “saw too friends.” I assume this is a strategy for helping kids learn to spell phonetically. The students learn their letters by tracing them on whiteboards in their laps. The teacher describes the letter “a” as “ a ball and a wall.”
One child (Student A) really wants to tell everyone something. The teacher explains that now is not the time for chatting, but for reading When the teacher says he can tell her in private at recess, he says loudly that he doesn’t need to tell her in private. “I want to tell all of yall” he says to the circle. Child R lost his lunch. His mother must have packed it but did not remember to put it in the backpack. R starts to cry hysterically and refuses to join the line to go out to recess. When he finally does go to recess, he embraces me in a hug and does not let go. He cries the whole recess, worried that he won’t have lunch.
It’s interesting to me to see how kids need to be reminded of when it is appropriate to talk and share and when it is not. School’s timing is so strictly scheduled, and I imagine it is difficult for kindergarten students to adjust to this in the beginning.
Also this cute little boy who was so interested in sharing is the same little boy who had major behavioral issues the week before. Yay for him! Yay for teacher S! This reminds me that kids are really just learning, and that we should always allow schools to be settings where they feel comfortable starting over. While I knew that of course Child R would be given food, he was not aware that the school would provide for him. This his first year of school, and on every other day he has eaten the lunch prepared for him by his mother. Why should he trust that anything else should happen? The fact that he was so scared reminds me that children are so vulnerable when school starts, as they really don’t know what to expect or who to trust. They are also so innocent and precious.
A lot of children have SO MUCH energy in kindergarten. Isn’t it sad we ask them to spend so much time sitting down? Or maybe it’s good that we are asking them to learn how to sit still since this is something that happens in the real world?
I wonder what teachers are told at teacher development meetings ect about making sure kids know that school is a place where they can trust adults---like the teacher who says that yes you will have lunch---and feel safe. I predict that students most likely learn that school is a safe place through their initial experiences. Its seems vital to me, then, that teachers are trained as to how to make their classrooms feel trusting and safe for the students.
Looking forward to seeing what kind of technology is used next time.