Among School Children Among School Children 1. What are your thoughts about what happened to Clarence? It is a teacher’s job to try and reach all of his/her students. That is extremely difficult with children that have no problems. In Clarence’s case, Mrs. Zajac tried everything she knew to get through to this troubled child. When it comes to the best education of one child or twenty the choice must be the majority of the children.
Clarence’s disruptive behavior was hurting the rest of the class. The only way to solve that problem is have him removed and sent to another facility that could better understand his problems. This is so unfortunate, but the best interest of all the children must be taken into consideration. 3. Other than the incident with Clarence, describe an incident in the book that you are likely to remember for a long time to come and explain why you will remember it.
The way Mrs. Zajac invited Juana, the shy Puerto Rican girl, to her classroom was a great inspiration to me. She did everything she knew possible to make the child feel welcome and wanted. Teachers and adults, in general, have a tendency to overlook the shy, quiet children in their classrooms. Those children don’t make noise, or trouble, so the teacher’s attention is focused elsewhere on another problem. However, Mrs. Zajac made sure she praised Juana every day, no matter how small the task accomplished.
Even though that child had to leave, I know she left with a better self-concept due to the attention Mrs. Zajac bestowed upon her. 4. What did you learn from the science fair that will impact you as an educator? One of the most important factors of education that I have learned this semester is to don’t set kids up to fail. Unfortunately, that is exactly what the science fair did to these children. It is a program that is not thought through for the children who are not able to interpret what they learn creatively. A very bright child can be completely without the ability to make pretty charts and graphs or water wheels and other creative projects. I know because I was one.
Children should never be forced by a teacher to participate in a contest if there is not a significant chance that they can win. If it is a voluntary competition, by all means, let the child compete. There can always be another project assigned without the fierce competition ruining the glow of a finished project. 5. In what ways do you think you will be similar to Mrs.
Zajac as a teacher? In what ways do you think you will be different? Mrs. Zajac is a very loving, affectionate teacher, even though she does get fierce with her students on occasion. She is never cruel, and always gives her students one hundred percent of her effort. That speaks volumes to me as to her commitment to those kids. I believe that my love for children will compel me to be just as loving and attentive to my kids.
They deserve that from a teacher, especially if they don’t receive affection at home. I may be all they get, so that makes it all the more important to me. Also her teaching methods are very enthusiastic and rich with drama and literature. That is the way I want to teach, with a book for every subject and a little drama thrown in. This makes learning so much more exciting for a child.
Including literature shows kids that there is a book for every subject they are interested in. You can’t go wrong teaching students to love books. As for the differences, I remember one passage when Mrs. Zajac says that she has to be careful about the word love when she talks about her children. I am paraphrasing, but the gist was, she just says she likes her students. As a teacher, I will love my students.
I know that before I even begin in a classroom. But I don’t believe that hurts my objectivity or my professionalism. I believe Mrs. Zajac lies to herself when she says she just likes her students. She could be an even better teacher if she loved them. I also noticed that Mrs.
Zajac only took the kids on one field trip. I would try as many as allowed by my school district. I know they are difficult getting chaperones and buses and keeping all the kids in line. But children love hands on experiences, why not give it to them. 6.
Through this book you have spent a year in Mrs. Zajac’c classroom. Write her a letter expressing what this experience has meant to you. Letter on next page. Dear Mrs. Zajac, Spending the year in your classroom was the experience of a lifetime.
It is important to me, as a beginning teacher, to learn what a real classroom is like, a classroom with real problems, real scenarios, real students and a real teacher. Your classroom is a place of safety, learning, and the start of a lifetime of education. If the students haven’t learned what learning is before your class, they learn when they get there. Your caring and compassion, for all your students, not just some, is a great inspiration to me. It will be difficult not to pick your favorite in a classroom of little ingenues, but you have shown me the importance of treating every student, slow or gifted, the same. Thank you very much for a year to remember.
And I will remember it, Mrs. Zajac. Your classroom will stick with me every time I stand up in front of my students to begin a day’s lesson. Every time I have to deal with my own Clarence and every time I lose one to moving or another reason. I know you have touched many of your student’s Mrs.
Zajac and they will be better people because of you. Sincerely, Kelly Yates 7. What are the other options a child has of showing that they learned something in their science lessons, without having to suffer the humiliation of a compulsory competition? The science fair, in itself, is not a bad thing. The child can still compete in a science fair, just not be forced. It must be a voluntary exhibit that a child feels strongly could win the competition. However, for those children who do not wish to compete, there must still be a way to determine their understanding of their lesson.
The alternative that I have come up with is to have those children, not competing, observe the science fair entries. One way is to have them act as newspaper reporters. They can interview the contestants and ask them about their projects. Then they can rate them on their difficulty, student’s effort and whether they truly represent what they are supposed to be. This allows the students to interpret what they know of certain experiments and elements of science but what they don’t know they can learn with the questions asked.
I like this way, because it will get a reluctant child interested in the aspect of science with out having to actually participate in the event. After the winner is announced have the reporter to write why or why not the child won. Then write an article to their newspaper on their commentary of the fair. Education.