Jun 2, 2017

Overwhelmed



I began my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Florida and began taking TESOL classes as a part of my elementary education program. I quickly fell in love with these classes and knew that I had a passion for working with students who speak English as a second language. I began my career teaching first grade in a rural school district with a large migrant population. All of my classes from UCF had paid off and I was able to use everything that I learned with my students.

As I am going into my 6th year of teaching I am excited to continue to work as an inclusion classroom for our ESL students. The journey I go through with my students is different for each of them as they bring different experiences with them. One thing I try to foster in my classroom is a sense of community. While we all are different, on the inside we are very similar. We all want to be heard, included, and loved. I feel that this environment has helped my quietest of students find their voice in our classroom.

I am currently enrolled in a graduate course called Computer Assisted Language Learners. We are using Google Alerts https://www.google.com/alerts to tag items related to TESOL and Technology. Each week we will reflect on our readings with a blog post about the article and what we have learned. I was nervous to get started because I only had one Google Alert! When I went to my email to read what had been sent I was delightfully surprised.

KJ Kaiser is a professor at Webster University and recently spoke in Uruguay at the LATU Education and Technology. While the article I found was short it led me to look more into KJ Kaiser and his role in TESOL. The LATU website was exciting and very eye opening and had wonderful resources. I decided to Google KJ Kaiser so I could learn more about his work. I found his blog and several videos including the most recent one of him speaking in Uruguay. Then something happened…



I started watching the video and realized that it was not in English. I quickly tried to see if a translation was available for me to read and there was nothing. I tried watching some of it to see if maybe parts of it were in English and none of it was. Sitting along hearing a group of others talk in another language and wishing I understood was an overwhelming feeling. Not one I was expecting to feel as I began my research. My mind quickly went to a former student of mine. It made me wonder how he sat in my classroom day after day doing his very best to absorb this new world around him all while smiling and giving each day his best. I felt guilty, privileged, and a little ashamed. I do not think I completely understood how overwhelming it all can be. While searching about KJ Kaiser I did learn some great strategies for the classroom, but what stood out to me most was thinking about that student.

1 comment:

  1. What an incredible takeaway from an assignment! As teachers, I believe we often forget that our children are not viewing the world from the same lens we did. ESL students view the English speaking world differently than students growing up in an upper class family that fluently speaks English. In my case of teaching, my students all come from poverty so they view the world differently than I ever did at the age of 7 and 8. I think your point was very thought provoking and made me stop and redirect my thoughts, especially going into the last week of school.

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