First day of the new semester. This class is gonna be really challenging because almost all of them spoke spanish the whole class and the teacher seems exhausted.
The kids were building these cars today so I wasn't very useful. Decided to just use the time to talk to the kids and ended up mainly talking with a group of three girls and a group of two boys and one girl. It felt a little weird at times when they used offensive language such as 'retarded' and 'gay' as insults to each other but I didn't say anything because I really don't see how that would help at all. If anything it would alienate me from them I think. Maybe I'm wrong though, should I say something in that situation? Idk. A few of them also said the n word which I'm uncomfortable with cuz I'm never sure who gets to say it and who doesn't. I'm half black and half hispanic so I don't have an issue with it, but idk if you're hispanic, in many cases, it wasn't used toward your ancestors so should you be able to use it? Or maybe it's more of whether or not it would be used against you, in which case it's more of a physical thing..idk tbh. It was nice to get to talk to the kids, I'm not completely comfortable being myself around them which is weird because even around other strangers I don't usually care. Lol does anyone actually read these? This feels like a diary except I'm posting it and I'm not sure who has access to it. I don't mind though, I think it's actually productive for me to reflect on this.
Not a really good day for me today. I was again assigned to the student who was most behind on work, but I really don't think I did well for him. I could honestly hear myself being confusing, long-winded, and boring as I explained the concepts to him. Additionally, I the end result of the assignment did not turn out to be how the teacher had imagined it which is unfortunate. Ugh idk part of it is that physics concepts are hard to explain, especially to people who lack a solid foundation in mathematics, but also part of it is my inadequacy. I need to make sure to get to bed earlier on the nights before STEMS because it was really hard to get up in the morning and I was definitely fatigued when I was helping the kid out. Hoping for some better results next week, I wish I knew a concrete way to get better at teaching. Still a little bit unsure about what my role is in their lives. Am I helping socially? Emotionally? Academically? Idk, they aren;t mutually exclusive obviously but I don't really do any of them particularly well, and I still feel a lack of purpose when I'm in the classroom sometimes. We'll see how next week goes.
Helped the kids get through a lab today. Worked with the group that needed the most help and got one of the two students to really understand the material but got both of them to finish the assignment which the teacher congratulated them on. For some reason she didn't introduce me to the class which was weird so when she left the class I introduced myself to the kids. I'm trying to connect with the students on a personal level so that I'm not just another unrelatable teacher. Need to be careful with coming off as patronizing.
Struggled with getting some of the kids to understand the physics concepts and how to use formula sheets to helo them solve problems. Talked with the teacher about why I'm there in the first place and whether I should focus more on the students getting through the assignment or understanding the material. She told me that just my presence in the classroom is helpful and that some kids are able to quickly go through the assignments once I show them how to do it but that other kids need me to go through several examples and to explain the problems at the surface level. I feel better now about being there but also about not always getting them to understand the concepts