Coming into this blog, I already had chosen my theme topic that I wanted to discuss and what I felt was relevant to my subject, but like most of us did not expect what the days to come would be like. Our world, our school, our community, has been put to a halt which makes this task a bit different. We all as humans have our life and schedule, mines were based on my classroom and school, but anyone that has taught in education can tell you that at times things don’t always go as routine. My classroom is completely opposite to social distancing. My students come to my class with so much energy and excitement ready to play and let off some emotions that may come from home or the classroom etc. Teaching pre - k – 8th grade, I feel as an instructor I have to change different hats and be different towards each class, for example my middle schoolers need more authoritative, whereas my lower grades need me to have more patience and companionship. Nonetheless, the main key ingredient is that all my classes have in common that it requires social interaction, whether it is playing indoor activities, their favorite sport or field day. Students have to communicate with another one for a common goal. Social interaction and interpersonal skills are very important in education.
Take the photo above as an example these seven social skills is something that I see in my classroom on a daily basis. Just take the first two as an example sharing; at times, we do not have enough volleyballs for every student, and I tell my students they have to share. I get a 7th grader who has never spoken to an 8th grader sharing and socially interacting with one another. 2. Cooperating is done during the soccer season. Having the team buy into one goal, and brotherhood is very satisfying. In a perfect world, if our students can do social skills 3- 7 in our classroom on a daily basis, that would make our life much happier. I understand at times that is not the case, and that is why educators need to set the example and continue to consistently pressure them to become great humans that contribute to society. You see the image above, If you take it from the smallest pinnacle, let’s say pre-k 3, we can get that class to do these things it helps set the foundation for the next teacher and so forth. These are things that are practices in pre-k 3 and when they grow up, they will still have to use these skills at their job. Theorist John Dewey and Lev Vygotsky share similar ideologies on social learning theory. “Young children learn best through developmentally-appropriate, hands-on, meaningful play experiences, and active engagement and interaction. We subscribe to the constructivist view of teaching and learning”.
At a time like this, where we are required to practice social distancing and be mostly indoors, I think our students need socializing. They miss their friends, they miss their teachers, soccer practice 90’s club, activities and so forth may be what is going on is a blessing in disguise and students realize how much school means to them. They can only be at home playing video games watching Netflix for so long. We as humans need to interact. It is embedded in our DNA code, and to 5, 6, 7, and 8th graders it is that much more important. We live in a time where social media runs the world, and we forget about parks and face to face interactions. Perhaps this is an eye-opener to not only our kids but our community. I know that for me, soccer practice will be something our kids will be looking forward to once we come back, and I plan to do it big!