By Juhie Nazeer
Community! What is meant by community? It is the oneness, the unity, the bond and the gathering of one group of people that share something in common. I teach students aged from 8 to 12 at Slough’s community school, which is also known as Stoke Poges mosque. It is a place of both a mixture of students and teachers alike who all learn something new every day as a community.
1) Be patient:
Teaching kids, especially primary school children is a challenge worth doing. They can drive you crazy at times and you might hear the word “miss” so many times in just 50 minutes that you don’t even know who to start helping. However that’s never the end of it. A teaching role requires patience and kindness. No matter how difficult it may be, our job is to treat the children with kindness and to be patient with them and help them understand the work set.
2) Learn to cope in a thriving environment:
There are so many things to do in the school, being a paid tutor as well as a volunteer means a lot on your plate. You have to run around the place doing errands for others and teach the children at the same time. But I’m not complaining, no. I enjoy my work, I enjoy teaching the children here and working with an amazing group of staff who are all friendly, kind and helpful. No matter how busy we may be during the day we all have time to help one another and enjoy our work at the same time.
3) No two children are the same:
I admire the approach of tutors towards the individual needs of all students. Every child deserves to be treated with the same love, equality and care but if there are students who need the extra help then they will get it. So far in my teaching experience I’ve learnt that every child has their own requirement and it is our duty as teachers to react appropriately and in time to their needs. Although we may feel that things are too much to handle we need to take a step back, think calmly and approach the children with a peaceful mind and attitude. Shouting at children is never the right way of taking control over the children, sometimes we may find that a calm and positive attitude is all that is needed to provide a good lesson where the children learn in a happy environment. A t times we may find our role a little difficult especially in circumstances where we have to teach students with dyslexia or any other medical problems. However we work as a team and try and find ways of teaching students with special needs. I never had the experience of teaching students who require special needs, and so I didn’t realize I had a dyslexic student in my class. As I was not made aware of this I treated the student the same as the others. To me this child just seemed disruptive in lessons, I didn’t once think they may be dyslexic. I only thought that he was being not only disruptive but also wasn’t listening to a word I said as he constantly asked me to repeat myself. I kept telling him off during that one lesson until I found out that this student was dyslexic. As I started to feel extremely bad for the way I dealt with him, I also started to realise that I’ve never worked with a dyslexic person let alone a student.
4) Work as a team and use the help available:
So how was I going to deal with him for future lessons?
This was a big question for me, however I forgot for a second about the wonderful team of tutors including the head of the lower years. We all sat together as each one of us discussed and came up with ideas on how to provide extra help for students who needed it. Finally our head suggested that we teach the child in the same class with one teaching assistant to sit down with the student and go through the work with them. He also suggested that we all go and do our own research on how to aid a student dealing with dyslexia,then we would share our ideas and perhaps hold a teachers training day during our holidays.
5) Build a childs self esteem:
Children, just like adults, should be encouraged when they do a good piece of work in order to build their self esteem. Without this they will begin to develop low self esteem and this would prevent them to stop trying even before they started.
This was a key point that I’d learnt during the rehearsals for the performances they did for the awards ceremony at the end of the year. It was difficult to have them all practising at the same time even though they weren’t placed in the same areas to practice. My job role felt very demanding as I was busy all day and had no free time, no breaks, no nothing. On top of everything the children began to get bored of practicing and even more they were nervous about performing on stage. So I sat them all down, every group every child and told them that they shouldn’t be scared. They were already brave enough to sign up to perform they took a risk and as teachers we saw a new talent in them that we never expected. “We can’t believe that you guys are the same children we teach in our lessons. You’ve all tried very hard and you’ve all done very well. But don’t put all your hard work to waste. You guys are amazing, every single one of you, and I know you can all do it so go out there and just have some fun. Be brave just like the way you have so far.” Well, those weren’t my exact words but they were close enough. However, I saw their spirits rise, they may have been nervous but they began to enjoy what they were doing.
6) Reassure them when they get upset:
You’ll get attached and see children as your own (well maybe)
However, when I came to find out that the day of the performance was after my flight to Sri Lanka I was upset and so were the kids. My sister Sadha, my cousin Azraa and I all worked extremely hard on helping and encouraging the children to participate in the performances and now that two of us could not make it for the day the children began to get upset. We really wanted to be there for them so we can be of some moral support however it was too late for us to change the date of our flight. My sister and I, spoke to the children and told them that they have no reason to worry, that there are many teachers here along with Azraa to help them if they need anything at all.
I had to learn and deal with this for the one term I’ve worked so far. Working with children is an amazing and enjoying experience. Although, you may find teaching lower year groups a challenge as the children will all be constantly seeking your help when you’re trying to help individuals. This is the sort of unity that I understand and see as a community. It is the love, support and share in belief on one aspect of life that brings us all together. Learning together, correcting our mistakes and helping one another in our times of need. SCS really does stand for its name “community”, and the variety of students and teachers alike make the experience of working there a whole lot brighter. I’ve learnt a lot so far in Slough Community School and can only hope to learn more and gain new experiences.
Juhie Nazeer is a first year Biomedical Scientist who tutors children. This is her insight into the skills she’s developed. At some point in our life we will interact with young ones and their emotional awareness is different from ours. They need nurturing, compassion and mostly patience when being dealt with. Hopefully by reading her article it will help you form an idea when working or dealing with children in any setting whether it’s tutoring, your siblings childrens or your own.