Monday, March 7, 2016

Journal 7: Response to The Hobart Shakespearians - by Andy

     Rafe Esquith's approach to teaching his fifth grade students definitely goes above and beyond the average learning curriculum.  "My passion is passed on to my students" was a quote by Esquith that is shown multiple times throughout this documentary film.  He truly means it and keeps his word.  Esquith wants to connect with his students and provide learning methods in which he teaches multiple lessons.  A great example is Esquith's currency system in the classroom.  Esquith states desks located in the front of the classroom cost the most while the farther back the desks go, the less expensive, and you must pay rent for your seat regardless of location.  This is a great start in teaching how to balance your money via what you can afford and learning how to budget accordingly.
     I personally also thought Esquith's selection of reading material such as Of Mice and Men, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and especially The Autobiography of Malcolm X were a bit intense to be reading at that age. However, if the students are able to absorb the material and understand the situations occurring, I see them as great learning tools for life.

     As far as my own personal experiences in elementary school, I honestly cannot recall specific methods from teachers that helped me out, as terrible as that sounds.  One situation that was motivating for myself as well as others was, I believe in fifth grade, I had a math teacher who rewarded us through a math "game".  It was quite simple, she would write the math problem on the chalkboard and we would have to solve it as quickly as possible with the correct answer.  Whoever answered first received a point.  At the end of the game, you could receive different brands of candy and if you had the most points, you were awarded a can of Coca-Cola. Oh delicious sugary non-sense!  I had quite a bit of success at the time, but now I unfortunately struggle to completely understand math and put it all together as well as back in my high school days.

     My personal goals for next year include continuing doing my best in school and passing all of my classes with good grades.  My biggest frustration and road block is lack of self-confidence when I do poorly on an assignment and it is all downhill from there.  It's hard to keep a positive attitude, especially in math, when you are having a hard time.  Obviously practice makes perfect, but that is easier said than done for me.  Trying to achieve a balance in life is also easier said than done.  I'd like to get back into the gym on a more regular basis since I am still down a good chunk of weight/muscle from where I was before starting at The Ohio State University primarily due to stress/anxiety, which I have a hard time controlling, and I hardly eat as much as I used to due to the stress.  It's frustrating when you see people you have not bumped into in quite a while and they ask you "What happened?" or "Why are you looking so thin?" since I used to practically live in the gym.

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