FINALLY, something good! I now have one positive thing to reflect on for this summer.
My 1st day of practicum went very well. For those that know me, you know what I am talking about. I won't go into details, names and specifics are purely confidential. My dream is to be a teacher. I won't say where, I won't say what grade, because I haven't decided either yet. And it's not some bull like "I believe kids are the future." I want to teach because I love helping people, and I believe that education is a profession that does not have enough passion. You only teach if you want to change the world. You only teach if you truly dream to live up to the title of Teacher, one who teaches and basically to become someone who can teach anything. Just like how Shin from ViViD says "I want to be a vocalist that can sing anything", I want to be a teacher who can teach anything to anyone and I will explain what I mean down below. Don't become a teacher because you think you get to play with kids all the time, or because you get a summer vacation. If you're not doing it because you believe you can make a difference, don't even go there.
The teacher I work under is an amazing person and does everything she is expected to do, and even a little more, and she is all smiles. I have nothing but absolute respect for her.
I will say this though:
To all teachers and prospective teachers: if a child does not understand English, repeating instructions at a slower pace does not help. It may be in the "Guide to Teaching" and it may be "by-the-book" but a true teacher goes above and beyond what is expected of them. If the kid truly doesn't have a single English word in his or her vocabulary, it is up to the teacher to find a different way, a way that works, to give the child the information. There are many different ways to give the child information: you can act it out, hold their hand and walk them through the steps like a puppet, point and mime, or find a translator, heck, buy a multilanguage dictionary and learn the language yourself if you have to.
The worst part is that these kids that don't know English are written off as "slow learners" and treated like they have a learning disability. From personal experience, these children are every bit as intelligent as the kid that speaks fluent English and can read at a level not expected of them and these kids that don't know the language shouldn't have to be ignored just because they don't understand the language.
In my books, a good teacher is one that tries, repetitively, to include these children and to teach them; a GREAT teacher is one who will not only repeat, but find different ways to show the information when one does not work. A great teacher never stops trying and WILL find a way to teach because that is what their title says "teacher"= one who teaches. If you do not teach a child then you cannot call yourself a teacher.
As teachers, your job isn't to say, "Why isn't he understanding this?" it should be "Why can I not teach him? What haven't I tried?" Your job is to teach, not repeat and give up. Teaching means that the child has to walk away learning something instead of feeling like he was given up on. If we treat them like they have a learning disability, then they will think being incompetent is all that is expected of them and that is not the right way to go. The faculty of Education has a repetitive theme: "Every child can learn. Every child can succeed." I think it's time that teachers remember their calling and find it and truly personify that saying in all their work because those words are the truth.