Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Encouragment

I try not to write too much about my job. I have heard too many horror stories about people's blog or facebook account getting unearthed by their employers and then fired or sued. Needless to say, this far from home that would be an uncomfortable situation. So I save venting for my Mom (thank you!) and the wonderful, harmless tidbits for the internet.

One of my students is very, very shy. She speaks so softly it's often hard to hear her. However, her English is pretty good for her level so I've been trying to use positive reinforcement to get her to speak up and participate more. This morning I found a Korean note on the front of her Mommy book (It's actually called 'Mommy and Me' and is how I communicate with the parents for routine things like attendance, forgotten toothbrushes and so forth. I know it sounds sexist but to be fair, not a single dad came to my open class). I brought it to my supervisor to translate and she was thrilled. Apparently my student is very happy with my class, she is excited about the school work, enjoys class and looks forward to school more. Her Mom just wanted to let me know that she was very pleased her kid was so happy and doing well.

I love getting feedback from parents like this. I'm a brand new teacher with no real teaching experience and it's nice to know the parents are pleased with my efforts. Especially since I get so little feedback in any other manner. I love teaching my kids and I'm pleased that my class, the only one where the strict English only policy for the ENTIRE day is enforced, seems to be progressing the fastest, at least as far as speaking is concerned. I interrogate (well, disguise my interrogations with nicely worded questions) the other teachers as to teaching methods, problems and anything else I run across that I think I could be doing better. I read ESL websites. I draw on my own experiences learning Spanish, French and ASL. The thing is, when you teach something well, it's less frustrating for you and the kids. Six year olds like to have fun and it takes very little to entertain them so the hardest thing is finding the delicate balance between what they perceive as 'work,' learning play and just plain fun.

Ok, that's enough ego stroking talk for now. However, it's nice to know I'm not a failure. :-p

3 comments:

Josh said...

I am not surprised in the least how super-awesome of a teacher you are!

:-p

Jessica said...

When you put your full energy into something you don't fail. It just doesn't work that way for us type A over obsessives. :-P Hope you have a good Thanksgiving.

Chris said...

I bet getting that sort of feedback is a big confidence booster. To be honest I'd be lost at sea in a classroom.