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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).


Blogger Ms. Sigh Ants said...

I currently work in a school that is about 70% Latino and instruction is given in English, although 80+% of all of my students speak other language(s) at home. While your instruction will be in English, knowing Spanish will help you connect with your students and learn more about them. Which, as you know is crucial in education and in becoming an effective teacher. I've found that my minimal Spanish (used to be fluent...years ago) has helped me connect with them. We'll exchange greetings in Spanish or I'll respond in Spanish to something they've said in Spanish. Just little things to help them understand that I understand something about them.

I've also found that a student who understands a concept will explain the concept in Spanish to a friend who is struggling. This usually helps the student who is struggling as well as the other student, since he/she is explaining the idea. Its really neat to watch!

Granted, this is only my personal experience and I am working with urban high school students but I hope you have a similar, positive experience. (Sorry for the long comment! And I'm sorry to hear about the garbage that is going on at your university!)

7:22 AM  
Blogger Not Quite Grown Up... said...

Thanks for the comment, and sorry it took so, so long for me to respond!

Your comment does help me feel a little better about it. I will be able to respond to/communicate with the students in Spanish, to an extent if necessary. And even more importantly, or important in a different way, I will be able to communicate with parents who have even less experience with English than their children.

What you said about students explaining to others - that's really neat!

9:56 PM  

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