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.
Today was just a normal day for class. The students were reading again, they do that a lot and they read so many different books. I thinks it's hilarious how many books these students read that are about animals. It was a pretty chill day, the students were loud as always but I've almost gotten used to it by now.
Today was a Thursday and I don't normally go to the Middle School on Thursday's so it was a little bit of a different experience today. Another student also came with me today, we were both trying to make up for days that we had missed previously. There were a few different students in the class and the kids weren't hyped up on Friday fever yet. It was just a normal class. They were working on answering questions to a book they had read and the students had made up the questions. I sat down and worked with two girls on understanding where the questions in the book could be located or on deciphering what the questions meant. One understood what was going on more than the other but it was cool to see how they were both working together to try and find the answers in the book. I asked them at the end of class if they were friends and they looked at each other and then looked at me and said that they had only just met that day! I love seeing how easily younger people can get along so easily with someone that they have never met before. I could have sworn they had been friends for a while.
It's been almost a month since I've been to the middle school for Language Buddies, because I've been sick and also because of Spring Break and other things that got in the way. When I got there today they were reading again for a little bit, Mrs. Kracht asked me to help a student try and understand his book and the questions on the reading guide. This student doesn't speak very much English, he is hispanic and speaks mostly Spanish. He's a very quiet kid and I hadn't put much thought to it before, but it must be because he can't understand a lot of what's going on around him. He was basically just flipping through the book and looking at the pages. I went over to try and help him, but I don't think I did a very good job. I didn't know if Mrs. Kracht wanted me to translate to book to him (which I didn't want to botch it or say something wrong about the book because I'm not very good at translating straight from English to Spanish or vice versa) or if she wanted me to read it to him or something. After a while of me not being very helpful Mrs. Kracht told the kids to put their books away because we were going to watch a video. When they got settled in she turned on a video of a recent shooting that had happened in a mosque. We watched the whole video and it made me sad to think that these kids have to grow up and go through school knowing that there is so much hatred in the world and that people are willing to act upon that hatred in terribly violent ways.
The students had more free time today and I have to say that these are my favorite days. After they finished up some work on grammar the kids got to play with the tablets or read a book or play a board game that Mrs. Kracht has in her room. Daisy asked me if I wanted to play Guess Who with her so I did. I haven't played Guess Who in a long time, but it was really fun to interact with her like that. We played almost five rounds before the bell rang and she had to go to her next class.