1. Reflecting on your experience so far at St Mary’s, what do you think have been some difficulties or challenges you have faced? Consider all areas – environment, children, etc.
One of the biggest challenges I have faced and my peers have faced has been getting the kids to listen and be well behaved. For me, I have experience working with kids at a summer camp, but it is still hard to get everyone’s attention and to get them to listen to me. A lot of them will be fooling around while the Cortland student is explaining the game. It is important to learn to be very firm with them.
Another challenge I have definitely faced has been getting the kids to stop hanging on me. The St. Mary’s students love to cling to Cortland students. I am someone who really likes to keep distance between myself and other people. It has been a big challenge for me to get the kids to stop clinging to me. At times it is frustrating to have kids constantly grabbing me. However, I have learned to deal with it and tell them to keep their personal space and to keep their hands to themselves.
2. What ideas/suggestions do you have to resolve the difficulties or challenges that you wrote about in #1?
A suggestion for the first difficulty about getting the kids to listen to you would be you have to start out being firm from day 1. You need to go in there and tell them that you are not going to tolerate unacceptable behavior. And then when you do see that unacceptable behavior there needs to be consequences. If the kids see that you can be taken advantage of they will walk all over you. You need to follow through on the consequences you explained in day 1 if kids are not listening.
As far as personal space goes, this also needs to be addressed on day 1. Tell kids it is very important to keep there hands to themselves. It will be easier to remind them not to touch people if you explained it on day 1. You can say remember what we talked about. However, if you never addressed the issue before it happens it will be harder to break the students’ habits.