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Reflecting on my time student aiding

Yesterday was my first day of work, and well today, my son decided to get up extra early to add to my already tired state of mind. So, I am going to post an old piece of writing that I think appropriate. I wrote this following my last day of student aiding from my teaching program at Trinity Christian College in 2009.

It's interesting to reflect on where I started to where I am now. Since then, I have two years of paraprofessional and six years of teaching experience under my belt. I'm about to enter my seventh year of teaching in an unprecedented remote/hybrid learning year. And I'm about to take the educational leap into grad school. This is where it all started though, as a fly on the wall. I know this isn't a fresh blog, but it is interesting to reflect on the past from time to time. Enjoy.

From a Facebook Post on Dec. 11, 2009:

The time right now fittingly says 12:11 p.m. on December 11, 2009. Today was my last day of student aiding at Independence Junior High School in Palos Heights. I said formal goodbyes to two classrooms I aided since October and while I feel a number of students were not affected much by my leaving, I felt a good number of students who I had touched. A couple of students asked me when I would be back. "Maybe one day I said." They responded sadly, "But I will be in high school by then." Another kid slapped my hand as he walked out and a couple said "Bye Mr. K."

I put in 64 hours of aiding since October, where in that time I aided special ed classrooms, general ed classrooms and one gifted classroom. Yet, I like to think that all of the classrooms I aided were gifted in their own form. I grew a lot. When a couple students would start to playfully hit each other, I was confronted immediately with what I would do. The one situation I remember: Kid A (ha Radiohead reference) starts singing the same song over and over that leads to Kid B slapping him across from his desk. Kid A turns to me and says "Hitting!" I calmly respond with "Now when if you get a job in a few years you very well could hear the same music over and over and over and you can't turn and hit your boss. You'll just have to sit there and deal with it. Both kids laugh at this and decide to stop the behavior. I was able to resolve something without giving out a detention or resulting to negative reinforcement. This is not going to be true in every situation, but I learned something important in the field that day.

I learned every child has a gifted ability. One child in the special ed placement decided to call pyramids 'sand tents' during social studies. I told him that this was very creative and he can continue to call them sand tents, but he must also know that they are pyramids. After I asked him multiple times what they were, he understood they were pyramids as well.

In short, I grew a lot. I had more to write here, but I honestly forgot what I was going to say. This will have to do for now until I think on it more.

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