Second grade children are still quite young and their minds are active and searching. They need to be taught in a way that leaves lasting impressions in their minds, because this aids their memory and logic. The following is a summary of observations made in a second grade class.
At this juncture, it is important to note that second grade children have very short attention spans, and the teacher must be stimulating to keep them interested in the class. If the teacher is not exciting enough, the children quickly loose interest in the lesson and start talking to each other, playing pranks on each other and doing all sorts of things that indicate loss of attention.
The second grade class teacher seemed well trained and knew what to do in order to get the attention of the children. She engaged her students throughout the learning process, asking them questions, to which she expected them all to have answers. The teacher frequently gave a personal touch when she mentioned names of individual children in order to engender their participation in class. For instance, she would ask a question and then mention a student’s name, so that the student would have to answer. In this way, she ensured that the students remained alert and engaged throughout the entire learning process.
Apart from asking them questions, the teacher would elicit the students’ concentration by narrating to them brief stories or lapsing into song, to which the students would respond in chorus. The students seemed to love singing heartily, and this made them concentrate throughout the entire learning session.
The students, on the other hand, seemed to be responsive to the teacher, which is an encouraging sign. Most of them would shoot their hands up whenever the teacher posed a question, and they would call “teacher!” In this way, they all competed for the teacher’s attention. This was a positive sign that the students were participating in class, and that they were, in fact, learning.
Unsurprisingly, few of the students asked the teacher any questions. I would expect only very few, if any, second grade students to have the intellectualism of asking questions in class. This does not mean, however, that they were not curious. In fact, they did question the teacher when she mentioned something that was inconsistent with their belief or logic. This was another positive sign that the students were taking part in the learning process, and that they were actually benefitting from the entire process.
The second grade class went for the whole day. The little children that they are, second grade children enjoy playing. Therefore, the teacher would, from time to time in between the class sessions, engage them in some interesting games, so that they would get into the next session rejuvenated and ready to learn. These games engaged the children and also made being in class an interesting experience for them.
The learning environment seemed safe for the children. Visitors were not allowed past the waiting room, so that the only adults who went past it were the teachers and the non-teaching staff. This measure seemed appropriate enough for stemming cases of kidnapping. However, with the rising cases of school children shootings, a more security measures needed to be taken in order to prevent armed people from getting access to where the students were. In respect of this, a lot was conspicuously lacking.
The second grade class was as exciting for the child as it was for the observer. The student-teacher interaction was set to yield the desired results, which were effective learning for the student, so that he (or she) may be able to build his (or her) intellectual capacity.