Tuesday, October 18, 2005
new school, old problems
So I'm back student teaching again and I got the school I requested for this round of placements - it's a school in the same area as my church on Seattle's Beacon Hill.
Compared to my last elementary school, there's a lot of differences, most notably the demographics - at the school I'm at now, it's overwhelmingly students of color - according to official statistics, only 10% of the kids are white, and 54% of them are Asian American (predominantly Chinese, Vietnamese, and Filipino). The format of the school is also different in that it utilizes an open classroom / pod unit idea, where several classes in the same grade level meet in a large room that is subdivided and shares resources like books, sinks, etc.
Probably the largest difference going from a school in (bling-bling) north Capitol Hill to Beacon Hill is that about 66% of the kids are eligible for free or reduced lunch - meaning their families are at or below the poverty line. Even more serious is that fact that it's likely that an additional large percentage of kids are eligible for free lunch, but don't receive it because their families don't register for it, or don't want to register for it (one or both parents are illegal immigrants and registering for a government program would bring unwanted scrutiny).
Welcome to the hood.
Still, I love working with so many Asian, Latino, and African American kids... for them, it's a bit of shocker to see a non-white, male teacher. I'm in a kindergarten class, so it's also been adjustment for me since at the last school, I was working with 3rd graders. At the 3rd grade level, you're building reading skills... at the kindergarten level, it's back to learning how to write basic letters and read high frequency words (the, and, me).
I'm teach an hour long lesson this Friday on the letter "p" and words that start with the letter "p" - park, pot, pit, pet. And no, I'm not going to be teaching about any "p" words that rhyme with Venus. That's for 7th graders.
The Washington Post has a cool story about an elementary school using podcasting as a teaching tool. Right on.
pretty awesome that you get to work with students of color.Post a Comment
kids in general seem to start learning P words that rhyme with Venus in... 2nd grade. i think around 7th grade is when you learn what it's for.