It was one Wednesday morning when I was given the substitution paper.
To my utter surprise, I was asked to teach Social Studies to Grade 1 students. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an elementary teacher and I love Social Studies (back when it was called Sibika, Kultura at Kasaysayan – Civics, Culture and History) back in the day.
Oh. My. Goodness.
It’s a different matter altogether to teach the things that I’ve learned to one of the youngest possible age brackets in grade school. There’s also a need to mention that some of them have difficulties in reading – which drastically reduced my activity options inside the class.
Thus, I find myself back in the loving arms of the Grade 1 classroom, having only exactly one minute to think about the exact lesson that I would teach to these kids.
On paper, I was supposed to teach children about food and culture (that’s the only possible topic I could think of). Practically, I was thinking of the ways that I can make the students listen for 30 minutes, which is quite a task in itself.
Then, I came into the class, and the children’s faces showed a good amount of shock.
“Who is this teacher?”
“Isn’t this Miss Nina’s class?”
I started by introducing myself as well as my topic – and it took four minutes to calm the students down.
Then, surprisingly, we had a good lesson in which the children listened and learned about the origins of their favorite foods.
Towards the end of the lesson, one of the students commented, “You are making us hungry, Teacher!“, to which I replied, “Hey, you were the ones who wanted this topic!”
So much for food. Needless to say, after the bell has rang, all hell broke loose (one student was crying, two students were running around the classroom, three students tried to stop their friends from shuffling and everyone else went normally with their break.
Crying student(s): 1
Roaming student(s): 0.5
STATUS? Lesson was quite a success!
I was surprised at the relative success of the lesson, but then I realized three things.
You’ll need a lot of patience when teaching lower grades.
This is the thing I’ve realized when I taught them that day. While high schoolers value practical knowledge and intermediate students want to have the necessary skills, the young ones are just starting to learn, which means that you got to be patient with dealing with their age level. This aspect is amplified in a heterogeneous and differentiated classroom environment.
Yes, they’ll find some way to do something in your lesson.
This is the second year that I saw and yes, I’ve noticed people drawing on their notepads about their idea of a waffle, pancake or burger.
You’ll not reliably know whether they actually learned something unless it’s the end of the class.
And it was their adviser was the one who related it to me!
End of story?
A certain student asked, “When will you be teaching Social Studies again?”
Not anytime soon, lads!
One primary Social Studies class for this year should be enough – unless the teacher suddenly disappears magically!