Friday, April 6, 2012

Student Reflection

by Theresa Calkins

Porque esto es mi ultimo blog post, quiero mostrar como he mejorado mi habilidad de hablar en una manera bilingüe – con el español y el ingles – como los estudiantes del primer año en la clase donde trabajo. Durante todo el semestre, he trabajado con estudiantes diferentes cada día cuando ir a Garden Hills para hacer mis horas de trabajo voluntario. Es interesante ver que cada estudiante aprende de una manera diferente. Also, I think it is interesting that each student has their own strengths and weaknesses, and oftentimes those are very obvious from within the classroom. There are some students who are eager to raise their hands and answer each and every question Mrs. F. asks. Yet, there are other students who, although they may know the answer, do not want to participate in that way. I am very glad that I have had the opportunity to work in the same classroom all semester because I have seen changes within the students.

Por ejemplo, ayer cuando fui a Garden Hills para hacer mi trabajo voluntario, trabajé con la misma estudiante con quien trabajé la semana pasada. Trabajamos con las matemáticas otra vez. Cuando pregunté a ella si quiso un problema fácil o difícil, siempre me dijo que quiso uno difícil. This was interesting to me because I would have expected her to ask for an easy problem, given what I saw last week with her difficulty in doing some of the math problems she was given. At the same time, I think it is commendable that she asked for more difficult problems because it shows that she is challenging herself and that she wants to learn as much as she can.

Otro cambio que he visto en la clase es que los estudiantes no me saludan con “Hello” nunca más. Al principio, la mayoría de estudiantes solamente me hablaron en inglés porque fue obvio que no soy una nativa del español. Pero, ahora, los estudiantes saben que entiendo y hablo el español y es muy probable que hablan conmigo en el español. (Todavía, si tienen una pregunta del vocabulario del inglés, es muy probable que me hacen la pregunta a mí porque saben que soy una nativa del inglés.) Creo que esta experiencia va a ser muy beneficial para los estudiantes en el futuro. When they first saw me, I would not be surprised to learn that all these students saw was someone who speaks English and was in their class to do volunteer hours that are required for class. But after spending time with me, I hope they have learned that first impressions are not always as they seem and that people can surprise you by what they know and what they are trying to do. I have gone into the experience of working in Mrs. F.’s classroom as a learning experience, and I want to help the students in any way I can while learning about their language and cultures, which are different than my own. I hope that the students have learned this lesson and will be eager to meet new people and have new experiences well into the future.

The photo I have included with this post comes from a hallway in Garden Hills school and has words such as “empathy,” “curiosity,” and integrity,” written on it in many languages. This image has a strong impact on me because I think it shows students what the future has in store for them as well as shows them how they need to live their lives, con curiosidad, integridad, y empatía – y eso es una moraleja muy buena por estudiantes de cualquier edad, incluso yo.

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