Deneesha Lawrence on Nov 21st 2009
This is my first post despite my 4 sessions at P.S.160. I was assigned to Ms. Jackson’s 2nd grade class and was told that I would help a 7 year old boy named I’nin. He had just moved to the neighborhood (South Jamaica, Queens) and had just enrolled at P.S. 160. He’s known as a “jumper” because he’s not able to sit still, hence all he does is jump all around. When I entered the classroom, all the kids were starring at me. At first it was awkward but I slowly started getting used to it. I sat with I’nin and asked him to read any book that he wanted to. He did a great job. Ms Jackson (the teacher) then assigned the class to write about moments in their lives. He decided to write about the time he fell into a hole near his house. I thought it was extremely funny. Despite the fact he spelled a lot of words wrong, the story had a great flow. That session lasted about 1 hr and at the end he kept asking me if I was going to come back after lunchtime was over. I explained to him that I too had class to go to! He genuinely looked sad.
In the second session, when I walked into the classroom, he ran to his desk and grabbed a book that he wanted to read to me. The class was doing a collective writing assignment so I told him that we had to work with the class. His attention span when working with a group is extremely short: he looked around the class a lot, he started showing me his math hw, and asked to use the bathroom. After the collective assignment was over, they had to write a story that involved action. He decided to write about Spiderman and his enemy Venom (I was shocked that all the kids knew SO much about Spiderman). While i was helping I’nin, I also helped three girls (Angel, Nova, Mya). They all were writing stories about their families and asked me to draw their sisters and mothers with long hair. I obliged and they raved about my drawing skills (btw, I’m the absolute worst drawer ever..but they liked it lol) When I didn’t have my full attention on I’nin he seemed really upset and sometimes would yell or throw himself on the floor. When he did that, I tried to keep helping him, so that he didn’t feel neglected.
In the third session, as soon as I entered the class, I’nin waved hi to me but then Ms. Jackson explained that he only did work on Wednesdays (when I’m there) so he would have to learn how to do work everyday, with or without me. So she assigned me a new child (Angel) who I worked with the week before. She is absolutely hilarious. She does these awesome accents and makes the funniest faces when she’s telling a joke. We instantly connected and even learned that we’re from the same country. But while helping her, I also helped her friends that were sitting next to her. The assignment that day involved writing a story using quotation marks. It was cute that all of them had trouble saying the word “quotation” but they all loved doing the air-quotes that i taught them (a.k.a making quotation marks with their fingers). Angel wrote a story that included a lot of dialogue. I loved that she figured out that the questions in her story also needed quotation marks. Prior to assigning me to Angel, Ms. Jackson explained that Angel had a lot of trouble with writing but after working with her, I honestly thought she needed help but also a lot of positive re-enforcements. While helping her, Angel had trouble spelling a certain word and in her frustration she said “That’s why I’m the dumbest in the class!” I was absolutely shocked when she said that. I told her she was doing an amazing job and when I was her age I didn’t know how to spell every word and I STILL don’t know how to spell every word. Also, I reassured her that she’s going learn tons of new words and there’s no need to be so discouraging. She still looked sad but kept on doing her work and did an excellent job. I think she will make great progress throughout the year. Oh btw, while this was going on I’nin was causing a scene in the classroom. He supposedly cursed out one of the students, so the teacher made him leave the classroom as a timeout.
I was there again this past Wednesday and as soon as I opened the door, one of the girls (Nicole) came across the room and told me that I’nin was kicked out the classroom because he hit someone. After she told me this, about 4 more students tapped my leg and informed me again. I will admit that I am sad that he left. I felt that I could have helped him if I was given more time but I do think that Angel does need a lot of help and more positivity, so I’m more than happy to help her for the next year. When I walked the kids down to the cafeteria, I’nin did spot me and came up to me and said hi. So I’m glad he remembered me and despite our short time together, hopefully i helped him in some way.
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