Thursday May 9, 2013
I would say it was another successful day in the Big Apple! With our trip days coming to an end we are all starting to realize that we will soon say good bye to the schools and students we have spent the week with. It is sad to think about. Unlike some field experiences where you only see the students for a couple hours and make a surface level connection, spending all day in a classroom for a week with students who find relationships to be one of the most important things, you develop a deeper connection which makes saying good-bye a lot harder.
I think overall we have all learned some different styles of teaching, different reasonings behind these teaching styles, and how to connect and relate with students so that they are willing to learn from you. Often times when people think of going into a school in New York City they think of the worst things. Non-white students with bad behavior in a run down school and teachers who have no control. The reality is that regardless of whether we are in New York City, Iowa, or anywhere else a kid is still a kid. They go through the same phases in life (such as puberty or the awkward stage) and want to have fun and be a kid. They may have different home lifes, backgrounds, skin color, out of school routines, whatever but an eleven year old is still just an eleven year old and that doesn't change. They still have to learn and have positive role models and that's what educators, and even people like us who are only coming in for a week are for. We are that role model they may not have at home. I think it is so important that as citizens in this country and even people living in this crazy world we remember that.
Besides our times in school, last evening we went as a class to the Apollo Theatre where they were having amateur night. They start off the evening with jazz music and then four kids below the age of fifteen came out and performed. It was by far one of the best things we had ever seen. The kids were so unbelievably talented it and at such a young age. There was a nine year old girl who sang Colors of the Wind from Pocahontas and it was fantastic. Needless to say she won the first prize of the kids. The night continued with different people performing different songs, playing different instruments, or whatever their talent was. Some of them were absolutely amazing, some not so much. If the crowd did not think they were good they got booed off the stage. I think that in our section we only booed for one person if that, so they all had a fair amount of talent.
Tonight we branched off and did different things. We had three groups venture and see Broadway shows, Phantom of the Opera, Matilda, and Cinderella. I, however, have not talked to anyone who went to the shows yet so I cannot share much on the experience although I am sure it was fabulous. Another group took the subway over to Central Park and spent the evening there.
We were lucky enough to have a Wartburg Alumni who is teaching in New York(the South Bronx) come to visit with us and explain the process of going from Wartburg to the city and answer questions we had. We ended the night with a small group of us taking her out to eat at a little bar & Grill. On our way back we stopped by and got frozen yogurt from 16 Handles(Dr. Book bought us some last night and we just needed some more :) ).
Within these last couple of days many of us are lucky enough to have the opportunity and actually teach within our schools so we have been trying to prepare for that. Which means I need to go write my lesson!