What makes me say this?

Well, I received my first gift of an apple! 

And I've lost my voice, probably due to talking, singing, and reprimanding. 

I think my successes are finally starting to sliiiightly outweigh my failures. For this I must acknowledge and pay homage to the guidance of the mighty wise ones around me. Of course there is my mother, who was an educator for like 30 years, who is always there with some seasoned advice whenever I come to her with my novice teaching woes. I can't measure the amount of clever ideas and moral support this woman has doled out! Then there's my friend and fellow foreign teacher, Liam, who completely blew me away when he was kind enough to come to one of my hellish 3rd grade lessons last week. His experience really showed, they were like a different class with him! I'd go as far as to suggest he may be a child-whisperer. Anyway, I learned a ton of useful tricks from him, and in fact, this was the same class that gifted me the apple yesterday. I was also presented with a sticker featuring the portrait of a flirtatious anime girl, which I displayed proudly on the back of my hand (the kids really prize these things so it was a sweet gift). Maybe I'm too easily swayed with a sticker, but honestly, they're not bad kids... just too rowdy and a nightmare to teach! Sometimes I wish I could just play with the children all day instead of having to pretend to be some kind of disciplinarian....  

Probably not so real-teacherly, I was given the day off today after my first class when my pr-k teacher friend, Ruby, heard my raspy voice. It was really a wonderful thing, though, because I got to sit and watch her do the lesson, and I must say I learned quite a bit about teaching small children and my class in particular from this demonstration. I am amazed over and over again at how magical the simplest techniques can be with this age group! She has real skill, though, too, knowing how to have them moving around but not going wild, and getting them to perform the meaningful repetition I constantly strive for. She has told me before to have "competitions" which I scratched my head at, but I saw from her lesson how simple it can be! Hers was just having girls versus boys perform the song she taught (monkeys on the bed), and judge which group did better. As easy as that, and the children were entertained and picked up the song. On the other hand of the simplicity though, I witnessed that the children can comprehend far more complex instructions and questions than I had realized. 

Anyway, it got me pumped to do better with them. I feel sheepish about the fact that I think my salary is more than the average Chinese teacher because I don't think I deserve it. I have nothing on them beyond the coincidental fortune of having been born a native English speaker. I want to do better than that!! I want to become an awesome teacher who can problem solve any classroom management issue like my mom, wrangle hyper children like cowboy Liam, and entertain a bunch of 3 year olds while simultaneously teaching them English. In other words, I want to be able to call myself a "teacher" and feel like I live up to the title!



11/16/2010 04:23:36

I'm sure you can be a good teacher.


donna Robertson

11/16/2010 22:18:33

Thanks for the kind words. You are a natural "learner" which will make you an awesome teacher. A Chinese saying goes something like, "If you want to know what's on the road ahead, ask someone coming back" Not all teachers are as open to learning from others nor are they as reflective as you are......a powerful combination.


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