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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Student Reflection

by Hanna Perhai

Hello, yet again!

As the semester is quickly coming to a close, I only have two posts left to reflect on my experience.  In the past, I've talked about my goals for this semester, the organization that I'm working with, and some of the challenges that I've faced so far.

Before my final, closing post (which will come sometime next week), I'd like to focus on not only my experience in the community, but how it has worked in conjunction with my time in the classroom.  To be honest, I never was very excited to have a classroom portion of this course.  I only really wanted to work in the community and get a chance to improve my Spanish.  However, I now realize that having a classroom portion has been extremely beneficial in getting the most out of my experience in the community.  For example, before my first real day of tutoring in Spanish, we learned different math vocabulary like addition and fractions.  Little did I know, I would use those very words the next day when I worked on math homework with my student.  In fact, he was studying fractions at the time.  When just one day before, I didn't even know how to say "one-third," I was talking about all kinds of fractions and helping my student learn.  Similarly, our practice on commands was quite helpful.  Knowing how to effectively keep the kids on task without having to think too much about how to say things is invaluable.

Still, when we got away from our unit of Spanish in education, I felt like my use for the classroom would soon be over.  While the subject matter didn't necessarily apply specifically to my situation, it still wasn't entirely irrelevant.  Learning about the difficulties that undocumented immigrants face really opened my eyes to what the lives of some of my students' families could be like.  I realized how ignorant I had been before.

I'm in this class--and ultimately this major-- because I want to help people with it.  And it shouldn't matter what a person's legal, socioeconomic, or whatever else status is, I want to help.

One big epiphany I had while I have worked in the community is that I want to pursue child psychology.  I love working with the kids in S.O.A.R., and I really have always loved children.  So child psychology was something that was always there, but I never really considered it.  Now I'm very interested to look more into it so I can help children, especially those whose primary language is Spanish. :)

So I leave you with these thoughts.  This week we got good-bye cards from our students because the year is almost over.  It was really heartwarming, and so I posted the front of my card here for you to see. That's all!

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