I won’t be kidding anybody with that timestamp I guess.
Hey. My name is Alvin Yu. This blog is for my Literacy Training Service class. What we do is, we teach kids how to read. Sounds simple right? Not to us. Apparently, there’s this whole idea of “one letter at a time, one letter leading to the other” kind of thing. I guess that could work better in, say, a large classroom, where the pace is defined by the students collectively.
But, we are doing this one on one. I’ve had friends whose students actually complain about the pace of the lesson. The one I remembered most was, “Yan nanaman? Alam ko na yan e!” On one hand, you could say that the students are pretty smart, which they certainly are, given that they figured the lesson out already, even before the teacher finished the lesson. On the other hand, it’s the teacher’s job to keep the students interested in the lesson. If that takes a complete overhaul of the lesson plan, then let it be.
My own student, a third grader named Rommel Mas, is kind of the classic “unknown genius” kind. He finished the majority of the given lessons in half the time. Of course, you have to consider that he already has some mastery of the alphabet and words to a degree. I started to try teaching English to him upon request. I tried to teach him the way I was taught, we went walking around looking and naming stuff. I was asking him orally “What’s this?” and “What’s that?” I was going to translate to written the week after, if he didn’t go absent for 3 weeks straight. I’ve been meaning to ask the teacher about that, but the idea didn’t occur to me until the last week of class. Shame.
In the weeks that my student was absent, I have been shadow teaching(I guess you could call it that) with classmate and friend Christopher Omega. It’s interesting to note that I don’t remember their names with absolute certainty, but they do remember me. Their names are JR and Joshua if I remember correctly. They’re good kids who surprise us every once in a while. The way kids think generally often surprises me in a “Why didn’t I think of that?” way. For example, the lesson was the letter ‘M’, we had them naming things like “manok”, “mangga”, etc. Then, the next picture was a bowl. Both of us were confused, thinking “This IS a bowl right?” Then one of them, I forgot which, said “mangkok!”. I felt pretty dumb then. I guess I could learn a thing or two from them.
What’s really interesting about them is their values. In normal lessons, they are usually behaved, definitely not subdued. Just a very calm, behaved demeanor. They do not speak unnecessarily too often, they follow orders when given, they clearly have a good idea of how to act properly. I once thought that this was due to shyness in front of strangers, but that was disproved in the Christmas Party, when they won three loot bags between the two of them. Teacher Chris and I told them to share and left them for a while. Without any order or supervision, they took turns taking a piece of the contents of the bag one by one. They had a good sense of fairness and good trade. If only older people could act the way these children do. These children could certainly teach older people a thing or two about greed and fairness. They certainly taught me.