Language buddies this last semester has enabled me to observe my own culture in a new perspective by the experiences with students in the classroom. Many of the students that were in the classroom I was were born in different countries than the United States. I found this out as students began open up to me and tell me random facts about their lives. Every time a student would tell me something about their live at home, it made me reflect on the similarities and differences from when I was their age at home. I realized that our families are pretty different in certain cultural aspects, but there are also many similarities. An important moment I recall from this past semester that really made me look at my own culture with different eyes was when one of the students was telling me about how frustrated he is with school because he really struggles with English and the parents at home don't use English often so he only hears in at school and other activities. Due to this struggle the student hates school, but is extremely smart. It made me really think that the systems in place for students learning English are not sufficient enough for students that have English as a 2nd language. I can't imagine trying to learn a second language at such a fast pace and then have it affect other classes. Language Buddies really made me take a second look at the culture here in America for kids that immigrate here with their families. I had no idea how little resources they are given here in St.Peter, and mostly likely in many other places.
Had our final meeting for the year and had dinner with the family of my little. We talked about summer plans and discussed the past year stuff.
Today was my last day in the classroom and it was great. The students were beginning to work on presentations that they have to present on a soccer team. It was interesting to see how almost all of the students follow a soccer team. It surprised me how much more popular soccer was among the students than any other sport. It was awesome to see the passion they had for soccer when I asked them to tell me more about the teams and who's the best and worst. The connection I built with some of the kids will hold a special place in my heart. It was a bittersweet moment when I said goodbye to all of the students. I have a whole new respect for Middle School teachers, especially ELL teachers.
Today in class there wasn't much learning time within the classroom because the students were being extra disrespectful, so it was a little harder to go over the vocab words. I was able to work with the students that were being respectful in a small group. It was interesting to see how the students become more confident within small groups and have good questions. I appreciate them becoming vulnerable to me as they are trying to learn pronunciations of English. They have become extremely comfortable with asking me questions when they are confused or struggling. Working with the students reminds me why I originally wanted to become a teacher when I started college. It has changed since that time, but it was a nice reminder of how much I enjoy working with kids.
Played mario kart and did mad libs. Talked about how going to a new school is going while doing these activites
In the classroom, the students were working on adding more words to their journals and creating sentences with those words. Due to the kids being disrespectful and interrupting Ms. Kracht there was multiple disruptions, which cut down on the amount of working time the students had. I was still able to work with a group of four students on creating sentences. It's been nice to get into a routine with the students because it has become normal the last month to have me work with students in groups, versus at the beginning I was in more an observing role. It has allowed me to establish relationships more closely with the students.
We walked around outside to catch up on how school and life has been going. Then played card games with a couple of my friends
We spent time outside throwing a Frisbee around, mocking, and I tried teaching her how to play cribbage.
I was able to work with a group of students in a game to learn their new vocab words. During this activity I was able to connect more with the students. It was cool to see the students feel a lot more comfortable with me being in the classroom and they have begun to start asking me questions about myself. When I walked into the classroom a couple students came up and said hi and asked how my day was going. I also connected with the student students that were born in Latin American countries, which was cool to talk with them and here their point of view of what they remember from their birth places. They also tried having a conversation with me in Spanish, which they thought was super cool. The days I have been spending in the classroom have become the best part of the week.
We went to the Bird house making event and go to know other BPLP participants. It helped my little get more comfortable with talking to new people, especially her age. It is something we have been working on all year.