Coming off of a 4 AM wakeup yesterday, being able to sleep in until 10 AM this morning was a nice change of pace. After making my way down to Dunkin Donuts for a nice breakfast and a crucial cup of coffee, I was ready to embark towards the Elementary School. It was a little rainy to start the day, and the fact that the bus was 20 minutes late didn’t help. Eventually, the bus did come and our group made it to the elementary school. Upon Arrival, I was a little surprised to find that the principle of the school was not expecting us. After a phone call, we met up with our contact, who also seemed a little surprised to see us. We walked in on a class of fifth graders finishing up standardized testing, which was common throughout the elementary and middle school. I was a little discouraged that we didn’t get to see a lot of actual teaching, but what I did see was very humbling. Two fifth graders escorted me and mike to a class of seventh graders in science class, and I was shocked to find at least 30 students being taught and “baby sat” by a 22 year old girl. Personally, I have never had a teacher under 30, so this was a little different for me. After observing the class for a little, I found that not only did the teacher have a hard time teaching the class as a whole, but the students themselves had a hard time approaching the teacher as well. Because the class was doing group projects, many of the students approaching the teacher for questions would have to wait for sometimes up to 5 minutes, which seriously took away from their learning time.
After observing the seventh grade, I found my way to the second grade where the students seemed extremely excited to see us. It was here that we met up with several fifth grade tour guides that seemed very excited and anxious to show us around the school. After the second grade class, we toured the school for a while before we found ourselves lunchless and due back at The Midtown Academy in less than an hour.
Arriving at Midtown was a lot less stressful while already having a full day under our belts. Not surprisingly, that relaxed attitude correlated with our group performance in the class room. Today, our theme was “Where are you From?” and it seemed to go really well with the students. They were all much more relaxed (which says a lot) this time around, and I could tell our group was more relaxed as well. The interviews we conducted seemed to go well as well, as the students all seemed very interested and excited about what conducting an interview would feel like. Still, the most rise we got out of the students was when we told them Gettysburg was ranked 9th in the nation for college campus food. Hopefully we can shift this excitement towards more productive things by the end of the week, but overall things went very well today.