Friday, January 15, 2010

Mexican Butthead

This week at school (Tuesday, to be precise), I got to do my first pull-out tutoring with a small group of students. For three class periods, 6-8 kids came to me from their science teachers.

We did some re-teaching of energy transformations, by making and discussing a foldable (whose template I designed, by the way!). I quickly learned that, if I showed them my example first, they would use my ideas for the illustrations, instead of thinking of their own.

Then we played Jeopardy. The winning teams got their choice of Hot Cheetos (which the kids inexplicably love- blarg!), Kit Kats, or Reese's. I shouldn't have been surprised that there were some who didn't even know what Jeopardy was. I had the template to make the game into a Promethean Board activity. However, with a small group circled around a table, I opted for the "analog" version: a grid of different-colored index cards with the questions on the back. (I felt vindicated when a student said it was "cooler.")

Making sure that we had "team agreement" for an answered question was a great way for the kids to catch their errors. It was an opportunity for one to pipe up, "Wait, wouldn't it be this?" to his/her peers.

In 7th period, I saw a student coming towards my room whom the teacher told me she would keep with her. Why was he here? (I later learned that he hadn't even gone to class, but found his way into my room somehow.) This child, let's call him... Ramon. Little Ramon eerily resembles a Mexican version of Butthead (from Beavis and Butthead). He is a constant source of honks, clicks, animal sounds, and other distractions. I panicked for a nanosecond. Then I remembered that everything happens for a reason, so I'd just go with it. To my surprise, he only honked once. He spent the remainder of the time hitting on me: "Miss, you should try out for modeling. Miss, I lost my phone number, can I have yours?" etc. To me, a still very green teacher, this was much more bearable.

I spent the next day attending a funeral and visiting someone in the hospital. When I returned to school on Thursday, I had some pleasant news. Apparently, all the kids were asking about me! The ones who I taught wanted to know when they'd get to go back, and the ones who didn't get to go were jealous! Their teachers even let them use the foldables we'd made on their test.

When I first found out I'd be doing this (small pull-out groups), I was so excited. The other science tutor, for some reason, sneered, "Oh...I'd rather not do that." (Good thing they picked me, and not her!) I think it was just as effective, more relaxed, and more fun for the students than trying to accomplish the same goals in a crowded, noisy class. Mexican Butthead or not, I can't wait to do it again!

1 comment:

  1. Yes! I knew you'd enjoy the creative end of teaching and the positive response it gets. I hope you have many more and that you continue to have break throughs with Butthead.