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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Report from Spring Break.

I am in currently on spring break, and in a medium-large sized city doing volunteer work. The other day, we worked with a family of refugees who arrived in the US last week. They speak a language I do not. I think this may have been the first time I have worked intensely with anyone who speaks only languges which I have absolutely no familiarity with. (I have worked with Spanish-speaking people, both years ago when my Spanish skills where very bad, but existent, and currently when my Spanish skills are not perfect, but very acceptable.)

It was fun and exhausting and interesting. I played Candy Land (which, when you think about it is a very, very strange game. With a very strange premise). I was playing it with a 6-year-old girl and began by just pointing and showing her what to do. She caught on very quickly. We then continued to play the game for about 2.5 hours, with various other members of her family joining in or leaving throughout our many, many renditions of the game. The whole time, I was naming the colors and number of squares to move, and I wanted to ask her how to say the colors in her language(s), but I didn't even know how to do that. By the end, she began to occasionally say the color names.

Throughout my spring break, I will be volunteering at other organizations that help immigrants. It has been, and is sure to be, and very interesting experience.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Excitement in my world of Education.

I really do want to keep up writing here, but the New Blogger is annoying and makes it more difficult for me to post. And so I forget to.

In a couple weeks, I will be teaching 6th grade math for 6 days. This kind of terrifies me. Not because I don't like 6th graders or am worried about the lessons themselves, but because I'm kind of afraid of the 8th graders who inhabit the same school, and will most certainly be taller than I am.

Next year, there is a really good chance that I will do my student teaching at a bilingual school (70+% Latino), though I will only be teaching in English. (The students receive instruction in English half of the day, and in Spanish the other half.) This terrifies me on multiple levels, partially because I am afraid that I will hurt the students more than I will help them. (The immense amount of thought that has gone into this point deserves its own post.)

I wrote a petition-type-thing, in support of the elementary education program at my school. The entire student body was able to vote on it, (in addition to about 10 other student-written petitions on various topics, of varying levels of seriousness). 70+% of the students who voted, (more than 50% of the student body chose to vote) voted in support of the elementary education program. In reality, this doesn't do a whole lot, but it does make it easier for me to get meetings with people in high places (such as the college president).

Thursday, March 01, 2007

We're doomed.

After conversations with people in influential places, I am under the impression that there is basically no hope for the continuation of an education department at my school.
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