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Personal Response Journal - Essay Example

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The first two weeks of classes posed many challenges. I had encounters with students who tried to test my patience; they talked and did things to get under my skin but I am wise enough to be affected by these behaviours. I am tasked to deal with young adolescents and I expected to meet many difficulties along the way…
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Personal Response Journal
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Download file to see previous pages I was aware and forewarned about this that I planned strategies and developed ways to, if not control, guide the students towards more positive outcomes in school. So instead of getting affected with all the instigations, I dwelt on the more important things, like preparing to make my classes more interesting so the students' attention and energy would focus more on the fun and enjoyment of their woodwork activities.
Aside from handling woodwork classes in grades 10 and 7, I handled classes of grades 4 and 5. Teaching younger students is quite a new experience for me since I have always handled higher grade students. I did some innovations particularly on the tools to be used and the projects that would suit their age. I did not expect though that I had to do more than the usual preparations and adjustments because younger kids would behave unpredictably in class. I was quite uncomfortable during the first week. On the orientation on the basic hand tools, I found myself rushing to some students who were quite reckless in the handling of the tools. I realized that safety had to be given a lot of stress when teaching younger students. Safety is a major concern in teaching woodwork. The young students were a big challenge, unexpectedly. I was glad and lucky enough that the sessions ended without encountering major problems and accidents.
Because of this, I intended to re-do some parts of my orientation in the following week and program myself to be able to closely supervise each student and their ability to cope with the instructions. There had to be a lot of value inputs in these sessions, particularly on the consequences of reckless behaviour. I would show pictures of children with cut fingernails or wounds caused by poor practice of safety in the workshops. The visual experience would be needed so the value of safety would stick in their system.
This stage of development of children, particularly those aging 10 and 11 is very critical. Jean Piaget's development theory did stress that children, particularly this group, would have difficulty understanding abstract ideas. I realized that it was really important to support my teaching with sufficient visual aids and more examples, demonstrations and illustrations so that the students will clearly understand, more particularly when discussing the safety issues of woodworking.
Recognising the importance of safety in my woodworking classes, I decided to conduct a safety test on the tools and machines that will be used in the projects, hand tools for all and for the 7th and 10 graders, they will be able to progress to the power tools only if they pass the test. The school had the tools available like jointer, table saw, planer and cut-off saw for precision and miters, band saw, sanders, routers, drills and finishing equipment. As the sessions introduce the tools and equipment, the students are given the test. The strategy for this safety test is to determine the students who are responsible enough to practice safety applying the tips that will be included in the briefings. The students who will not pass will have to retake the tests until such time they will pass and they will not be permitted to the next level workshop activities.
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