Today was the fall party! We carved a pumpkin outside of the interpretive center with Robby and his brother, and then played around outside in the grass. It was super cold but I had fun! After that, we went back to the caf to get some food and warm up. I think that Robby is warming up to me and Hailey, which is super nice to see. Thomas and Maddi are really helpful in bringing him out of his shell because they have known him for a year now. I'm very excited for the Halloween activity, we're going as ghosts! It'll be quite fun.
Today I met Bobby for the first time! I'm really excited for this year being his buddy. I was not expecting a middle-school age, normally functioning, boy, but I think it will be good! Our main focuses are bringing him out of his shell and helping him have more female figures in his life with his four brothers. He likes video games and playing football. He and his four brothers all seem really fun and high-energy, so it should be quite an entertaining group.
En el pasado año de servicio voluntario, ha aprendido mucho sobre mi mismo, la comunidad, y como yo puedo tener un afecto a las vidas de personas varios. Ha hecho muchas diferentes formas de servicio voluntario en ese año pasado. Muchas veces, ha estado enseñando inglés a personas varios; los adultos en el centro comunitario, los niños en Perú, y también con chicos en la escuela secundaria, pero también ha enseñado español a niños jóvenes. Ahora, estoy en la escuela secundaria con chicos alrededor de 14-18 años. Enseño inglés a los estudiantes quien solo saben un poco de inglés. Muchas de estas estudiantes no hablan inglés ni español, así lo es un poco difícil de comunicar con los, pero el maestro principal puede hablar con los. Solo tenía uno clase en este semestre, así no hay mucho que ha sido, pero, puedo ver los habilidades y conocimientos que van a desarrollar durante de mi servicio. Parece que voy a ayudar al maestro con sus enseñanzas en clase. En el tiempo que yo fuí, ayudaba a los estudiantes con sus tareas de leyendo. Los estaban usando al texto de sus libros para completar sus notas, y era mi trabado de ayudarlos y determinar si sus respuestas eran correctas. El en clase que yo asistió, ellos aprendieron sobre las personas indígenas de los Estados Unidos. Este reflecta directamente a nuestro propio clase porque hemos hablado sobre las personas indígenas de América latina. Su libro mostraba los aspectos y lugares básicos de los grupos en el EEUU, con respecto al pasado y también al presente. Habló de los qualidades que hace cada grupo único y diferente de los otros. Por ejemplo, algunos grupos eran muy avanzado con sus sistemas de educación o sociedad, mientras otros enfoca más sobre los animales y sus necesidades básicas. También habló sobre los herramientas y recursos que eran availables de los tribus. Muchas de los tribus eran muy similares de los tribus en América latina que estábamos, así era interesante de hacer los conecciones. En la tarea de los estudiantes, resumieron los hechos del texto. Tenía una mesa de cuatro estudiantes, y muchos supieron la información del texto. Había una chica a quién necesitaba mucha ayuda con sus notas. Para ella, mirábamos al libro y buscábamos para los repuestos. Leí a ella los secciones en inglés, y juntos tratábamos de escoger el repuesto correcto. Era difícil porque del barrio de lengua, (ella no habló en inglés ni español), pero el fin ella terminó a su tarea. Era gratificante para mí, porque me rompió el barrio entre nosotras y la ayudaba. También, era muy interesante de mirar ella encontró problemas con la lengua y trabajar a través de ellos. Siempre es bueno de ver el proceso de aprender una lengua con una otra persona porque entonces aprecia su experiencia con lengua en general, y también puede ver las maneras diferentes de navegar problemas. Tengo un apreciación más grande para mi experiencia de español, y de mis habilidades de inglés también, porque lo está una lengua muy complicada. Quiero que continuar de aprender más sobre el proceso de aprendiendo y enseñado, específicamente con este grupo de personas jóvenes. Va a estar una experiencia nueva para mi.
Today was my first day in class! It was a bit overwhelming at first, with not knowing what my tasks were and just being in the high-energy environment of a high school. The first section of the class I just observed. All of the students spoke English with varying levels of proficiency, as they all talked and seemed to be focused on grammar and building vocab. When I did become involved in the teaching, I helped students "scan" a textbook for information about Native American tribes, and then summarize it on a worksheet. Some students struggled more than others, but I am sure that the teacher takes this into account when grading and creating assignments.
Ø How has this experience enabled you to observe your own culture(s) with new eyes?
The experience of working with kindergartners on their Spanish-language abilities has been a very rewarding experience for me this past semester. Many of the children seemed to come from cultures very similar to my own, and although there were not any significant cultural differences to note, the experience furthered my understanding and appreciation of language learning across all cultures. No matter the language, the process of understanding and learning a new language is a difficult and time-consuming process, but the benefits are endless. Cultures that appreciate and welcome foreign languages are open to so many opportunities and are able to connect with cultures around the world. I am very excited to see that in our country and culture it is becoming more normal to learn languages at a young age and to also learn an appreciation for other cultures and people.
Ø Did you have a particular experience that led you to think critically about your own culture(s)? Explain in detail.
I would not say that I had one particular experience that led me to a self-reflection regarding my own culture, but the experience as a whole allowed me to think more openly, critically, and graciously about my culture and my opportunities growing up. When in elementary school, I had a fair amount of exposure to languages (Spanish, French, and Latin) which I can strongly claim significantly helped with my language learning later in my schooling, especially in regards to my classmates who did not have the same opportunities. Due to this fact alone, I am very excited to see language learning in classrooms with children as young as kindergartners. I believe that early exposure to language creates a great boost in learning abilities, and begins to teach a sense of cultural appreciation, both of which I think my culture/country could accel in.
Today was our last day of student teaching! It was very bittersweet. The class itself was very normal. We started with the lecture, and asked them different questions with each slide and tried to incorporate some review of past topics as well as continue to learn this unit. We split off into small groups, and I had the group known for being the best listeners/most engaged. They were as attentive as I would've expected during the book, and they really enjoyed the game. Most of the students were able to connect the Spanish and English words on their own, and if they were unable to their fellow students would help. I finished my group session by asking them what other words they wanted to know in Spanish, which they got very excited about. It was a good day for me!
Today was our second day of teaching "yo quiero", food words, and verbs. They're catching on more than they did last week, but there is still a significant gap between the children in terms of retention. We added to the presentation to make that a larger part of the class period and that has had positive results. Overall, the kids were engaged today during lecture and small group which was very good!
Today was our last day in the family unit. The kids are really starting to be able to think of words on their own from our past units and this current one as well, which is beyond exciting! They all participate during the lecture period of our time and were fairly respectful to one another. During group time, I had a group that seemed to be the best group at retaining information and participating. That was very positive, but by the end of the hour, they were getting very squirmish and it became increasingly hard to keep them entertained and involved.
Today was not the best day. The kids were fairly receptive to the songs and lectures at the begininng, which was good! After that, we went to small groups. The group I had today is typically one that has trouble listening and sitting still, and that was demonstrated today. It became increasingly difficult to go through the book and follow up questions with them and then playing the game as well. They were not taking turns, being respectful with their hands, and were not able to pay attention to the material. They are seeming to retain information from our previous section though which is a very positive thing to see!
The Language Buddies program has been a great way to help me develop different skill sets, such as the ones listed. I feel my interpersonal communication abilities have advanced the most since the beginning of the semester. When working with children, it becomes increasingly important to have skills that allow you to learn not only the educational materials but life lessons and how to be a respectful and kind community member. In order to do both of those things, it is imperative to have patience, be understanding, and show positive manners for them to model. I have also developed more flexibility and adaptability by having to "go with the flow" when it comes to the moods and attention span of young children. Many of the children in my class come from similar cultural backgrounds to each other and myself as well, but I find it so wonderful how curious and accepting they are to the children from different cultural backgrounds (ex: there is a student who speaks Spanish, not English, and they are excited to learn Spanish so that they can talk with him more eventually). Their openness and curiosity for other cultures and many other things for that matter inspire me to be more curious in my daily life.