No volunteering- classes out for spring break
Today did not go so well. It started out okay, I was happy that a lot of the students we worked with last time decided to come back. One of the students in particular had taken the material we had worked on last time home with her and completed the rest of the problems, which was great to see so much initiative on her part. Several times now there have been fights while we were volunteering but the one from today was very upsetting to me.
The student I had mentioned and a staff member got into a fight while I was at the school. Both of them had to be restrained from hurting each other and they yelled numerous threats while trying to get around the staff restraining them. At first I really didn’t think a whole lot about it because I had assumed that they were both students and I had witnessed this before, but when I learned that it was a staff at the school who was involved it really upset me. From what I overheard the staff had made a comment that the student felt was derogatory to her about not being expected to graduate. She then yelled at the staff about disrespecting her and treating her like a child which escalated. I could understand how the student might feel if a teacher said something like that, even thought the teacher probably did not mean it in this sense. What was upsetting was to see the teacher trying to physically get into it with the student, as I said both were restrained. I know many things were said but that is something that would have never happened at my school. There are better ways to deal with a student than trying to fight them. When we left the girl’s mother was there and they were going to meet with the head of the school. I just feel bad for the student because I would feel the same way if I was disrespected and if handled differently it would never have had to escalate to the point it did. Hopefully the student will be there when I go next week, if not I will be thoroughly disappointed that someone with so much promise was cast aside.
This was the first day that I got to work with the kids. The schedule is all set now so I will be going every Monday and it sound like they have other volunteers set to cover the rest of the week. I really had fun today. It was great to work with the students and they seemed to like having us there. They said that the students had actually requested to have tutors and that makes it so much more enjoyable because they get to choose whether they want to come work with us. Everyone I worked with seemed ready to concentrate on the material, which was one concern I had. I wasn’t sure if the teachers would be the ones to single out kids and send them for tutoring which may have given us people who did not want help.
My only concern is that I am not sure what to study; I had thought that they would be bringing homework with them, but they had anticipated that we would provide the materials. There were some books in the room so I asked what they would like to look at and we went though some basic math that will be on the skills testing. Once we got going it all went pretty smoothly.
Today was my first day at Minnesota Internship Center Charter Schools, which was basically a day for filling out paper work and meeting the people coordinating the program. It seems a little disorganized since I gather this is the first time they have instituted tutors so we are not sure of the times that they need us or how the kids will get referred to us for tutoring. I am pretty optimistic about it though, I’m sure everything will be worked out soon. I would have to admit that it was kind of different; I guess I had imagined that it was going to be like any other high school but it seems as if the kids just kind of wander from place to place and no one seems to be directing them to where they have to be. I guess they are expected to take that responsibility on themselves, which is very different from how my high school was organized.
The orientation packet that they had organized for us was very interesting. There was a quiz that we completed that measured what kind of life skills everyone had, which was very insightful. It was divided into 3 categories- could you survive in poverty, middle class, and wealth and had basic skills you would to thrive in that particular environment. It just proved how much you learn from your environment and how difficult it be to learn all the things necessary to thrive if you were removed from what you are accustomed to. They also went over some of the driving decision making forces that are attributed to different levels of wealth and the assets that help an individual succeed. So much that is not apparent goes into what a person easily achieves. This was one of the best orientations that I have been to. They actually provided a lot of information that I had not previously know about instead of the basic rules of conduct that you usually encounter.