Teaching Diary: Philosophy Club (3/10/2015)

[Originally published on 3 October 2015]

Teaching Diary. Kids say the funniest things:
During Philosophy Club this week I continued my theme of identity (last week it was the Ship of Theseus, this week it was brain swaps). After several minutes of discussing whether Jenny (who was pretty and popular) was the same person as Alma (who was smart and studious girl), one boy asked: “is Jenny more popular because she isn’t wearing a shirt?” (see the diagram I drew to start the discussion). Featured image

The kids and the parents couldn’t stop laughing at that comment. Luckily, we moved beyond that and moved into some good discussion as to what are the most important characteristics of selfhood (i.e. body, brain, personality). I even had a girl who had an identical twin, so her and her mum had a great time thinking through this scenario with her twin just a few feet away!

My popularity seems to be growing!
When I am walking down the hallway I am used to seeing the kids who visit my room wave at me or say ‘hi’ as they are moving with their class down the hallway to a new activity. But on a couple of occasions this week, kids who who I have never met have cheerfully said “Hello Dr. Welch!” And I say hello right back, and then when I turn the corner I pause as it hits me ‘Wait a second – I don’t even know that kid!’

On another day a kid wandered up to me and asked “Dr. Welch, how come you come and take [the name of a student in his class] to read with you, but you don’t come and take me for this fun reading? – I want to read with you too!” So I had to explain to this kid that I am very busy at the moment, but that one of my fellow Reading Corps friends might have him visit them, or that I might get to him, but it might take a few weeks.

I am always tired.
I am dealing with 18 kids each day, one-on-one. Which is quite tiring, as they each deserve my full attention, plus I am still getting to grips with all the prep work that is necessary or each day (for once the day starts, except for a brief lunch, I have no time between each kid – I help one kid for 20 minutes and as we leave my room, I am off to pick up the next, and I do this for all 18 kids). So when I finally get home at night, I desire to do…Absolutely Nothing. I am an introvert, so although I can very much enjoy interacting with people, it nonetheless really wears me down. So when school is over, I prefer to be alone. Until I can catch up with my prep time and try and adjust to all this constant face-to-face people interaction, I need my time to veg-out by myself.

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