25 November 2015

Cornerstone Diary: The 21st Day of November and On Dealing with Difficult Students

CORNERSTONE in Inuman Elementary School
The siblings of the tutees are also welcome to eat with us. :)
           Last October 21 the Cornerstone team celebrated birthdays. We had lunch at a local fast food chain nearby. During the meal we talked about assorted things like the previous APEC, Game of Thrones, politics – on who's voting for whom, the issue of internet speed, writing poetry, and, of course, the plan for the upcoming Christmas party this December 5. We were so engaged on eating and talking that we forgot to take photos to remember the occasion.
            Anyway, before that, the whole Cornerstone was normal. The routines were smoothly done, the opening prayer, the lessons delivered by my fellow volunteer tutors was okay, the food was great, and a few misbehave ones which is normal until it was time for the small group sessions. One of the tutees that I was handling was being difficult. She refused to come with me. So was determined not to study more because she had a conspirator. I was worried because my group was the only one probably not doing better in terms of reading progress.

CORNERSTONE in Inuman Elementary School
Our food is always prepared by the CFC. Last Saturday it was a Macaroni Soup.
CORNERSTONE in Inuman Elementary School
I feel like there is a separate story in this photo. I can't translate it into words for now.
CORNERSTONE in Inuman Elementary School
Ate Rhia and Kuya Cons
I get frustrated. I can’t make them listen to me. I can’t reason with them the way I deal with adults because they are just kids. Who knows what is going on in their heads? They were giving me those side loop smiles and giggles.
            What did I do? At first I try the “silent approach”.  I sat silently and watched their every move. I was praying that they would soon come with me. I’d hope that after few convincing they would give in. They were roaming the classroom, disturbing other groups, and denying that I am their tutor (Oh those kids really test my character. They were giggling when they said, “No.”). When I had enough on what I was seeing I told them that we will play instead of having serious lessons. Play is the magic word because they come running to me carrying their Cornerstone kit. I should have thought of it earlier.
            We played “Bring Me.” When I asked for a thing that starts with letter L we end up showing our legs.
            Then Kuya Cons showed up to check on us. He brought the reward chips with him. The chips are used to motivate the tutees to participate and be good in the class. The reward of having many chips is a gift this coming Christmas party. One of them saw the chips. She then showed interest on having a quiz when I decided to have one. Sadly, the other did not. In the end one of them did not get a single chip. I explained that it was because of her behavior. I assured her that she will receive chips next time if she will behave properly and participate in the class.
            I shared this experience in the group. And, I am glad that I am not the only one that has the same problem.
            What advice can you give on handling difficult kids?
CORNERSTONE in Inuman Elementary School
Some were busy drawing this mermaid.
CORNERSTONE in Inuman Elementary School
Ate Jessa as the lead tutor.
CORNERSTONE in Inuman Elementary School
Kuya Cons never fails to assist the lead tutor of the day.
CORNERSTONE in Inuman Elementary School
Found this while waiting for the big group session to be finished.

CORNERSTONE in Inuman Elementary School
Looking at the whole session at a new perspective, literally.
CORNERSTONE in Inuman Elementary School
Front row students are always attentive.

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Maira Gall