As I reflect on this class 8081, I think back on my language journey as a child and a teacher. I remember well my mother who never went on to college but wanted to be a teacher or nurse. She would read to us, buy language art workbooks over the summer for us to work on. We truly had summer school! She would correct me at every moment of speech to remind me that English was her favorite subject in school. I would have diaries from the moment I could write to put my thoughts together. At church, I was a part of a lot of youth activities. One was ushering in people to sit in their seats. We had to learn sign language to communicate to each other across aisles at church. The lady who introduced sign language also was my Sunday school teacher. She taught us words and signs and how to read the Bible. Mom talked to my sister and I all the time and would sign us up every summer for the summer reading program. The majority of our library came from the free books from the summer reading program or paying from a penny to twenty five cents for a book at Good will or Salvation Army. Television shows were kept down to a bare minimum. We either watched the movie together or watched educational shows such as Sesame Street. As a teacher, I barely let my children and students, watch movies. We do a lot of hands on material. We are always creating something, doing shared writing, or turning/talk/share with a partner.
This course has just confirmed that I am still heading in the right direction. The milestones have helped me the most in my argument with children need time to grow up. We are pushing them way too fast with standards. Not that standards are bad. We just have to have them per child and their ability when it comes academically. Not all children hit milestones at the same time. No one tells them you are not ready to move to the next age yet because of it. I am not implying that we should just move children through grade levels either. Milestones need to line up with standards. Parents should be involved, to where they know in school, “your child should be able to…. at this grade level”. Problem lies in when we stop communicating with parents and children. Then we raise the standards above their actual milestone achievement level and expect more. When they fail we hold them back a grade level. I see that now from studying the language milestones from this class.
The thing I will take from this class is the voice over power point. I am not a fan of technology, but I would like to incorporate it more. I can actually record my quick phonics routine and have the children follow along during intervention time with the smart board while I am pulling children aside who need the extra help. This voice over power point will help free up time to work on other things and I can use it as an interactive session with my kindergartners and include animations they would love.
I would still like to learn more about the bilingual brain and how it works with language. Currently working at a dual language school, parents assume all teachers speak Spanish. This is not the case and it’s hard to communicate with all parents. I know there are some similarities in language patterns between English and Spanish at times. I would like to research and find out more on how those patterns align. This will affect me as a scholar of change because it affects my teaching career at this school and continuing as a teacher anywhere. More and more immigrants are becoming citizens of the United States. We even have Thailand children at our school and I am going to have to learn a little of that also. Sometimes parents are just willing to know you will go the extra mile for them and then they are willing to work with you.