Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Student Reflection: Compromising is Key

by Natalie Bodmer

photo: BT Washington Elementary School

Being almost halfway through the semester, I’ve seen how much of a difference it makes working with the same children each week and how much of a difference it makes in the community. The S.O.A.R. program uses rewards to encourage the students to read more than is required. Since my student, being in 4th grade, isn’t the biggest fan of reading especially since the weather is nice enough to play outside. Last week, I thought I had figured out and that if he picked out a book he was really interested in he would be more likely to want to read. However, he had already finished the book we started last week, so we had to try and find another book similar to it. When we went to the library I encouraged him to pick a book that had the same theme as before.

We started reading and immediately he wanted to stop and do something else. I suggested getting another book that he would maybe like more, but he insisted he just wanted to get the reading over with.

If I have not learned anything else from this experience, I have learned that teaching always keeps you on your toes and requires creativity. Once I thought I had it figured out, I had to come up with something else. I saw that he really liked teamwork and working together for a goal, when we do his other homework. Therefore I tried to compromise and work with him for a goal of reading a set number of pages or for a set amount of time. This worked for a while, but again he was getting tried of reading, so again I tried to come up with another compromise. This time I told him that I would read a page and then he would read a page. This worked great!

By using the combination of setting goals and taking turns reading he read for an hour, and did not ask to stop. I was so proud of him and he was really proud of himself. It helped that he also got a prize because the S.O.A.R. program gives students prizes once they read for a set amount of time.

Through the involvement in the community I have learned much more than I could have learned sitting in a class. I really believe that this course offers great opportunities for college students to learn in different environments.

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