Monday, May 10, 2010


I just wanted to take the time to conclude my overall experience as a volunteer , tutor in the providence public school system. It was without a doubt an eye opener for me. It is true that you do learn something new every day. I realized that I take a lot for granted within my life now at 21 years of age and when I was a grade student. And that there are some very unfortunate kids out there who are so grateful for the little they do have. I also realized that things have defiantly changed a lot from when I was an elementary student. I feel as though the children now know a lot more of the stuff they shouldn’t know yet and they are so advanced,and its not so much academic wise. I had some good times with the children as we taught one another, I helped them learn and they helped me be thankful for what I have and the life I live. I met some good people who helped me realize a little more each day the kind of teacher I want to be. I am thankful for the opportunity and I hope to change some of the lives of young children in the future.

Prompt 6 & Dewey

Communication is without a doubt one of the more important aspects I feel in education. I think without proper communication that there are always a lot of confusions, misconceptions, and more obviously miscommunications. A culturally competent teacher I strongly believe must use a variety of verbal, as well as non verbal communication techniques that encourage their students with positive social interactions, in which are supportive learning experiences within a classroom

Personally, while tutoring my kindergarten aged children I have found a few ways of communicating non verbally that have been a positive learning experience for my children. When going over their vocabulary words I use hand or face motions/expressions that help that remember/recognize the words. For example for the number word TWO I would put two fingers up for the word up I would use a thumbs up etc. Moreover, I also had the children write words that that couldn’t remember 3x each, and have them repeat the word each time they wrote it down. I noticed that the teacher in my classroom did similar things. She would say words aloud and have a picture to correspond with it. She made sure that all of her students were focused and paying attention whenever she spoke and did an activity. To make sure they were paying attention should would ask specific questions about the lessons. I feel it is especially important for educators to be aware of the fact that learning at a young age is essential for proper development. My teacher also likes to do 90% of her class activates in groups, incorporating social activity. And according to John Dewey he also believes that education is a social function. The more group involved activities, the more learning occurs.

Having social group oriented activities allows children to get to know one another, as well as learn how to work with others. Dewey also talks about how a child’s communication also has to do with their social life outside of school. People are attracted to other people with similar interests. For example in my classroom I tutor in there is only two white students, and they are always together. The troublemakers in the classroom are two African American boys and the most talkative, outspoken children are all of Spanish descent. So following Dewey’s belief, I would have my students sit in different groups, with different groups of children every couple of weeks to change things up and give them the opportunities to get to know one another on a different level, other than what they already know. On a personal level with my students the do not really talk about their personal lives because I don’t think that most of them realizes the certain situations they are in because of their age. I think if I were to see some of these children again in a few years they would have more to say aside from their school work.

Prompt 5 & Delpit

I think as an aspiring teacher that involving works with the students and their families, as well as some of the community, and its resources would be a great idea because that way it keeps everyone on the same page. Also the parents could be involved in what their child is learning in school and the children would like to have their parents see what they have learned. I remember as a grade school student whenever we had after school activities where our parents got to come and interact with their children in a school setting that I always had a great time as well as a great learning experience. I remember in the 3rd grade we got to invite our parents to a science fair night with a bunch of experiments that had to do with our curriculum, games, and activities, the children got to learn as well as win educational orientated prizes. I think schools now should do more of these. It’s a fun, yet good way to learn.

I think depending on what kind of neighborhood in which I am teaching, would depend on the family/parent interaction with the school and community. I think that in an upper class to middle class neighborhood parents would be more involved and as you would get into the poorer, less fortunate neighborhoods and families, parents would be less involved. I don’t think its necessarily because they do not want to be involved, but because most of the time these families have work commitments, and communication issues that conflict with their involvement with their children’s school.

For example, while volunteering at my elementary school, one day a parent of a student who attends the school came in to speak with her child’s teacher. The only problem was it wasn’t the parent physically speaking to the teacher but her child who was translating for his Spanish speaking mother. I was looking at the teacher and it seemed as though she felt awkward with the situation only because what the student was translation from the teachers English to the mothers Spanish was about himself. So nothing that was said was at all private.

Lisa Delpit had a lot to do with my understanding of teacher, student communications and relationships as well as student, parent teacher relationships.. I think it is very important to have a good relationship as a student with your teacher and as a teacher with your student and their parents. Delpit seemed to focus a lot on the communication of poorer, African American students and their families. But she did mention how regardless of background some way of communication was essential in the learning process. And for children who are less fortunate than others that communication is absolutely necessary. Not only from an education standpoint but in all aspects of life I strongly believe that commuication is key no matter what it has to do with.

I would try to communicate with parents as much as possible. I would like to communicate with them through a school based e-mail system. If parents were not able to communicate through email I would communicate through letters that would be available in their native languages. I would generously give my spare after school personal time to parents who wanted to speak with me personally as well, and possibly have an appointment book to be organized.