A white board spread with little illustrations of girls in one-tone dresses, bows in their hair, smiles on their faces. The thermostat is set at a comfortable temperature. The desks are pushed to the side to leave a space to spread out across the floor. Freshmen are hard at work, but they’re not losing hair over it.
If given such an environment, Margaret Wroblewski, proud member of the class of 2013, will undoubtedly make the most of it. Pair her up with this group of underclassmen, and she amplifies a familiar atmosphere.
Care that comes naturally. That’s the best way to describe this eager-to-teach SAL. She is a motherly figure that cares for her audience. A truly capable guide that is passionate about what she does and that loves to share her knowledge; not only that, but she provides a stable and relaxed environment for her students.
Margaret enriches the childcare rotation with an interactive lesson plan, beginning with an icebreaker. Then she moves into the next part of the lesson, presenting a previously empty white board. She gives each freshman a dry-erase marker and says, draw yourself as a child. They go right to work. Making an iMovie stacks up as the last activity before lunch. While the freshmen spread out in groups of two, Margaret watches over them and helps them along.
Margaret’s position of the childcare SAL fits like a glove to her warm and caring personality. She is always eager to help and she knows exactly what to say.
Why did you choose to become a SAL?
Since freshmen year I have always wanted to be a SAL. As a freshmen I thought to myself that could be me leading the freshmen every other Wednesday. My grandparents who have passed away were music teachers. A part of me wanted to live out their teaching legacy. Several of my family members are teachers too. I see why they love and enjoy teaching.
What is so interesting about your rotation?
My rotation is very interactive. When trying to come up with the lesson plans I wanted the freshmen to move around and interact with one another. I have one lesson plan where the freshmen portray the role of “bad” students. Then I select one of the freshmen to portray a teacher. The “teacher” then has to try and teach the bad students. The freshmen go a little crazy during this activity. One of them even tried to jump out the window! Even though the activity is silly I truly believe that they learn how hard and difficult it can be to be a teacher. A lot of students take for granted how much time and effort teachers spend on them. Teachers dedicate their lives to their kids.
Top Three things you had to do to prepare for this year?
1) Lesson plans
2) Public speaking
3) Learning how to be flexible and organized
Is being a SAL harder that going to a site everyday?
Yes. It is extremely difficult. Freshmen, Sophomore, and Junior year you did not have to worry about anything. If you see my on Wednesday morning I am a wreck. I am worried about the time, freshmen, space, ect. Being a SAL takes a lot of time and effort but in the end it is truly rewarding.
Best/Worst thing about teaching Freshmen?
BEST: When the freshmen at the end of the day come up to you and say they had a fun and great day. I had one important experience that I still remember. One of my activities for the freshmen is to have them draw themselves as a little kid on the board, so I did the same as an example. Then at the end of the day next to my awkward stick figure it said “Margaret Best Teacher”. It was very rewarding.
WORST: Awkward silences.