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Alison Znamierowski Photograph

Journals

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D.E.A.R.

November 2, 2012   

One of the programs that I am involved with at Hamilton is called “D.E.A.R.”, which stands for Drop Everything And Read. It is a great program; it is very informative if you are a student interested in Education, but also just a lot of fun if you just need to get off campus for a bit and interact with some kids (as one of the volunteers said this week, you become reliant on going into the school as a stress-reliever during the week).

I’ve been a volunteer for DEAR since last year, and have had some really awesome experiences. Some of them have been funny, such as when a 1st grader excitedly told me an anecdote about how her dog always does the “happy dance” on her leg, or when a student who was working with my friend Molly had to use the word pretty in a sentence, and wrote ‘You’re so pretty I could pass out’. Others have been really insightful, which was the case with this week.

I was working with a student, trying to help him with his reading and writing skills. He was clearly struggling with both, especially writing. When the teacher told him to write the sentence “There are 1 tens and 2 ones in the number 12,” he had no idea how to begin writing the word ‘there’. As I suggested that we sound it out, I realized that ‘there’ is not a word that you can necessarily spell correctly from sounding it out. I began to think about the challenges of being a teacher, especially in elementary school. Every student needs so much attention to develop these skills, and with class sizes of about 20, it can be really hard to give students the attention they need.

These experiences are extremely helpful with gaining experience in the field of education, but they also raise a lot of new questions and realizations, which are important to address as a teacher.

Hamilton offers many other extracurricular programs that relate to certain majors and minors, many of which are through HAVOC, which you can check out here: http://www.hamilton.edu/havoc/havoc-links/projects !