I gave a few more lessons to my new student over this past month. As usual, he was receptive to all my suggestions. We worked through his lesson book and he learned how to play with both hands! I also touched on the topic of middle C more, because I didn't explain it well in the last lesson. We talked about the pentatonic scale. too, because he had a piece which was based off of it. We also had a piece where he pedaled, so we talked about the different pedals, what they do, and which feet to use on which pedals. Overall, teaching him has been a very fun experience and I am excited to continue to see him grow musically! We will begin to work on a piece his dad requested for next week - we're both quite excited about it!
Arb and hot/cold- a good way to wrap up the year
Today was my last day with the students and it was kind of sad to know that I won’t be back with the same students again. They had a work day, and they had to finish their essays and turn them in online. The kids didn’t really need any help with their essays since they were just finishing them up, so I just made sure that they stayed on task and finished their work. They behaved pretty well today, which was nice for my last day, but i wish I would’ve had more time with them! I am so glad I did language buddies and got to have this experience!
I think that language buddies has taught me to be a lot more observant of all cultures, because it helped me keep an open mind. Going into language buddies I didn’t know what to expect, so I tried to be as observant as possible in order to learn from others. Helping in a classroom was really cool because I got to observe the culture of the students, and learn about their own personal cultures. Even if I shared a culture with some students they had a completely different experience, language buddies helped me see that and be open to learning about similar cultures from different perspectives. I didn’t have a particular experience that made me think critically about my culture. However, after spending time learned about the students and their cultures I started look deeper into what my culture was. After I had a better understanding of my own culture, I was able to compare it to the students and theirs much easier. I was also able to learn a lot more, and see how similar some of the different cultures are. Overall language buddies was a very cool experience, and I am glad that I had an open mind and was able to learn so much about the students and their different experiences and perspectives.
Going to the Middle School almost every week has been a great experience. It was totally out of my comfort zone because I have never worked with middle school students before and I haven't ever wanted to. I liked being in this classroom because it was so different from the classrooms that I have grown up in. There was so much more going on all the time than I'm used to, the different languages, clothing, and behaviors to name the main ones. It really made me appreciate this classroom because I've never been to one before that was made specifically for students who don't speak English as their first language, I've been in "traditional" classrooms and also in classrooms where everything is taught in Spanish, but the students come from English speaking homes. The Spanish immersion school that I've been in was something that parents tried to get them into because they wanted their children to know a second language and to succeed in life with having more education under their belt, but for the classroom here that I've been visiting it's not the same sort of thing. These students aren't in this classroom because they or their parents wanted them to have a different experience, instead they were there because it was necessary. They are growing up in a country that speaks majority English everywhere, from TV to books to politics, it's not for the idea of having a special education it's for them to be able to survive and flourish. One day that really pointed out to me how these kids have to grow up in a culture that doesn't understand or appreciate differences was the day that Mrs. Kracht played the video about the shooting that had happened in a mosque. It hit me that these students were exposed to violence, even if just on TV (maybe not), for thinking differently than the "majority", and that hurt.
I really appreciated all of these kids, even the tough students who never seemed like they cared or wanted to learn, because it gave me a different view of the society I'm living in and made me think a lot about where I come from.
I have learned many things from language buddies. First of all, that it is important to allow for equal access and help to all minorities if that means special classes then that should be required for all schools. I think it is so important as someone who is native in English to help someone with theirs so that they can have better opportunities working with people and around people that speak the same language. I also think it is very effective to be immersed in different cultures because you learn how they interact with each other and you are able to compare that to how you were as a younger student and with your friends. I think by me helping them, they also have helped me become a better person because it is very nice to help people. I have been able to look at my own culture and how that differs from their interacting with their friends and family. I think it is very important to have an understanding of other cultures enrich yourself on the knowledge of the world but for also personal growth. You become more evolved as a person and are better off for it. I have taken a step back and can now see my own culture through the eyes of someone who grew up differently. Although it is tough to have to learn a new language but it is also effective in the work field to be fluent and bilingual. I think the most influential experience was being physically next to these students and watching the process as they learned new material as well. I have never been the helper of another student and it taught me as much as it taught them.
Yesterday was the last day that I worked with the kids from South Elementary and it was one of their last days of school as well. We did not do much reading, but it was fun to be there with them while they were celebrating the end of their year. Looking back on the entire semester with them, I am glad that this was a requirement for the Spanish class because it did benefit me even if Spanish was only used for smaller words occasionally. I learned how to be more patient with younger kids, but also enjoy their tendency to become distracted during work time. It was enjoyable to be able to see the growth that happened for all of them just in the last few months. I enjoyed language buddies a lot and I am thankful for the opportunity.
Today I met with the current Study Buddy Coordinators and learned about how to create and manage emailing list for students and cooperating teachers. I also communicated with the High School teachers and let them know that I will be taking over coordinating that piece of the program starting next fall.