From: Annie McDevitt
Submit: Post Field Note
Date: 02 Nov 1996
Remote Name: porter-lab13.ucsc.edu
Sara, age 6
During the first thirty minutes or so of my time at Barrios Unidos on Friday, I hung out with 6 year old Sara. She wanted to work on a computer with a CD Rom but none were available so we went to the closet to find a game. I suggested we play the game with the little stones that you put in the wooden slots. She knew how to play it and wanted to play. We set it up and began to play. As we played, I began to ask her different questions about herself. I asked her where she went to school and if she liked it. I asked her if she had brothers or sisters. I asked her who she was for Halloween. She told me she was "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast. As we continued to play, we began to joke with one another. When it was my turn to go, she would yell,"Go!" pretty impatiently, so I decided to do it back to her, which she thought was pretty amusing. I really enjoyed our interactions. I felt like playing this game, face-to-face, was more conducive to personal interaction than working together on computers.
I feel like the teachers which have made the biggest impact in my life have been ones who have taken the time to get to know a little bit about me. In my limited teaching-learning experience, I have found that kids are more receptive to me once they feel like I care about them. Perhaps trust needs to be earned before collaborative learning can take place.
The event I described had an effect on me because I have often felt like I haven't really connected with the kids during my time at Barrios Unidos. I'm beginning to wonder if using computers together is not unlike watching t.v. together. I wonder if it's kind of a distraction or obstacle to getting to know one another. Then this brings up the question, how much a part of the teaching-learning process is getting to know one another on a personal basis, getting to know one another's interests and experiences. This is the aspect of working with kids that excites me. So, if it's not really a central part of teaching then teaching is probably not the direction in which I want to head.