For this week’s writing prompt, I chose a question that serves two purposes. One is to allow my little sisters to reflect on how they learn best and second is to allow me to cater future writing prompts and learning activities to how they learn best. During K-12th grade, my favorite classes were the ones that were more artistically engaging, and my least favorites were the logic-based classes. For this reason, I chose to ask this question, to make sure that my little sisters’ experience with the Big Sisters program is fun and memorable, filled with activities that they enjoy. In a classroom of 15-20 students, it is difficult to cater the activities to each student’s way of learning. However, in programs like Big Sisters, our work revolves around fostering learning and I believe showing students ways to make every subject fun using activities they enjoy will encourage them to seek new ways to make all subjects fun. If you look at the responses, the little sisters differ in writing, expressing themselves, and of course in learning methods. Alyanna is very logic based and enjoys reading chapter books and analyzing them, while Samiah is very artistic and expressive and enjoys art and physical activities. Using this information, I hope to better accommodate my little sisters’ needs and interests.
As a follow up to last week’s question, Aaliyah and I worked on highlighting her accomplishments this past year and things she would like to improve on. We started with her accomplishments and the first thing she announced was her ability to complete her multiplication tables which were a great start. During my first couple of weeks working with Aaliyah, I remember asking her how her week went, and she was so excited to inform me of her tricks to solve multiplication tables. Her other accomplishments include improving her ability to play the violin and the piano, learning how to make water move and how to ride a hoverboard. The list Aaliyah compiled impressed me because she did not stick to accomplishments she is best at, instead, she chose a well-rounded group of activities. Once we moved on to things she would like to improve on, Aaliyah’s first response was “math.” Last week, she mentioned that math was her least favorite subject, but I am delighted that her dislike for the subject does not stop her from wanting to improve her skills and reward herself when she does well. Last, Aaliyah wants to improve her handwriting which struck me at first because since I started working with Aaliyah, her hand-writing has immensely improved and I was not expecting it to concern her with her handwriting.
Alyanna is an outstanding and clever student. Since our first day together she has known she wants to be a teacher, and I asked her this question particularly to understand where her passion stems from. Alyanna loves learning and engages in all her classes and her response superbly portrays her passion for learning and striving to be better.
This week I had the pleasure of working with Jaylen (I don’t remember her name, I’m sorry!) as well as Samiah. I asked them what they want to be when they grow up. My reasoning behind this isn’t for them to know exactly what that is at nine, I’m twenty-eight and I just figured it out for myself. What “I want to be when I grow up” has changed about thirty times since I was their age, but what was important was that I was always encouraged to dream and there were always people who supported me in doing so. I thought I knew pretty much everything about Samiah having worked with her since September, but she likes to keep me on my toes. From the girl that has continuously told me she doesn’t enjoy much about school besides gym class, comes the response that she wants to be a kindergarten teacher. I know that she can do whatever she sets her mind to, and it made me happy that she might be starting to like school. After reading her response we discussed the steps to get there, including going to college. She was enthusiastic about it and was even more excited when I told her in May she’ll be visiting BMC to get an idea of what it’s like.
This was my first week working with Jaylen. She comes off as shy at first, but that is not the case. She is very inquisitive and thoughtful, she asked me a lot of questions about school and insisted I help her pick a book to read as well as go first when we played Candy Land. Her response to the writing prompt was relatable, I would love a career in which I eat donuts with my friends everyday too. However, in our conversation about it, she more so emphasized wanting to solve crimes and help people.
Both girls were able to quickly respond to what I asked, which I assume means they have put thought into this question before. I am happy that they have people who inspire them to have goals, and I hope to be a part in their journey to achieving them.
This past session, I asked my little sisters, Briseyda and Jeilin, to answer the question: What are you good at in school? What are some things you would like to improve?
The reason I asked them this question was for them to reflect on both their strengths and improvements. Personally, thinking about what you may need to spend more time on can result in improving overall skills, especially in subjects that you may not be strong in. I wanted my little girls to see that it is okay to not be good at everything and with some practice and a helping hand, they can accomplish anything they want. By taking small steps as they wrote from writing more sentences and working with a teacher, they can continue to further their knowledge. Both Briseyda and Jeilin are bright girls who are growing by being in this program. I can already see that they are determine to improve their reading and writing skills. I cannot wait to continue to work with both of them and continue to build the bond we share with each other.