Level of participation/engagement: Level of participation was probably the biggest problem that we faced when doing AFU’s. During the AFU students were very hesitant to participate in activities. Personally I believe that they most likely felt awkward around people they didn’t know, they were embarrassed to step out of their safe zone, or they didn’t want to step out of there safe zone around strangers. All this to say that our first AFU was far from perfect. As a group we began thinking of how we could solve this lack of participation. A lot of ideas were put on the table, we could spend more time with the kids to build a better relationship and remove awkwardness, or we could be stricter with them. We spent a lot of time on this trying to figure what the best solution would be. Finally we thought that perhaps all of these student don’t have the same learning styles and perhaps there interests are different each others. We decided that we would to them more so as to learn more about each one. Then when we found out there interests we would change the activities around so as to cater to each individual’s interests and learning styles. More information on this strategy can be found in “Differentiation Through Personality Types, pg.4, Jane A. G. Kise”. In The AFU’s that followed participation went up and we could see that the students were retaining the information that we were trying to convey. This same conflict is present in the average classroom at the beginning of the year. When the teacher starts to get to know each student then he/she will be able to change the class plan in order to cater to each students personal needs.
Level of respect: One might think that when you walk into a room full of people that are younger then you that you will instantly be respected by all of them. This however is not the case respect does not come without a price you have earn it and the only way you can earn it is by giving it. In our first couple of AFU’s a blind man could see that our students did not fully respect us. They would talk during crucial explanations, disregard to any instruction given, disrupting during instructions, ect. This lack of respect made it very difficult to run through activities smoothly and with the message being clearly understood. I was personally bothered by this because I couldn’t figure out why these students whom I barely know feel its ok to be disrespectful to me and my pears. All we were trying to do was to give them tips and skills that would help them integrate into high school as well as help them succeed throughout high school. I was unsure of what could be done to solve this conflict, but then I remembered the most important part of receiving respect, I had to give respect to receive it. At first when I went into the AFU’s I wasn’t seeing the students as my equal, I saw them as homework, something that had to be finished in order to succeed and the fact that they were disrespecting really frustrated me. It was after this that I thought the reason that they aren’t respecting me or my group is because we are not showing them the respect that they deserve. We went into the AFU’s with a Win-Lose mentality (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, pg.148, Sean Covey). We wanted success for not only for ourselves but for the students as well. The only thing was that we cared about success more then we cared about theirs. This meant that we weren’t giving