Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jesus Loves the little Children... All the children of the world

Many people come in and out of our lives but there are those who leave a lasting impression on our soul and greatly impact our outlook on life. I have found myself feeling blessed to be surrounded by the students I have been working with in Greeley. These students are refugees from Burma, Kenya, Somali, Myanmar, and some from Thailand. The lives of these students are truly inspiring! To imagine the things that many of them have been through seems truly unfair for anyone especially at their age. What inspires me is this: despite what they have been through and their obvious cultural differences, their amazing dedication to learn and to get an education in American culture shows on a daily basis. Each day I work with them I find myself being drawn to learning about them and yearning to provide them with the education that they deserve.

Sounds like flowers and rainbows huh...

My goal for this blog is to be honest so I want to say this as well... although the work I am doing is rewarding and a blessing, there are many challenges that come with it! Some of the students cannot write their name and have never been in school before. They come from cultures where discipline is considered to be a good beating. There is such a range of English proficiency, cultures, and school exposure that it is constantly an upward climb to reach each student.

I have taken this opportunity as a learning experience. My faith in these students is so deeply rooted that I feel as though I have found my niche in the teaching world. To use the blessings that I have in my life by blessing these students is a desire that has consumed many of my thoughts and is strongly directing my pursuit in my career. What a great feeling.

All in all, as much as these students need me, I find myself also needing them!

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Current state of mind = consumed by Lost. You know the television show where people are on an island and everyone is suspicious and everyone is dramatic, the line “don’t tell me what I can and cannot do!” is repeated a number of times by a number of different characters. Not to mention the fact that there are countless issues and questions going on all at once. Furthermore, every single person on this island has a dark and twisty life story that is reveled little by little, accompanied by intense music and frames of intense looks! Whew! Just talking about it makes me anxious. Perhaps this uncontrollable feeling is due to my personality, or Hollywood is better at what they do then I would like to admit.

Why write about Lost? What does this have to do with teaching? Ah excellent question reader! Although Lost is not directly correlated with teaching there are a striking number of similarities that I’m sure, to some, seem obvious however I choose to reveal them for those who do not see the parallels as clearly…

Similarity #1: Island = a heavily Vegetated/ slightly creepy representation of a classroom
Let’s think of the island as a classroom, and the island inhabitants the students. Immediately after landing (or should I say crashing) on the island the strong, leadership personalities stood out and took control. As a teacher students who have these characteristics will stand out because they are born leaders! But let us not forget or pass by the students who do not stand out. Some of the students are the quiet type but have just as much to contribute to the survival and success of the group. Much like the inhabitant of the island each student has their part and each student can contribute to the classroom.

Similarity #2 Twisty background
Not to hard to make this connection! Each and every student has a story just as each and every character on Lost has a story. Students’ lives may not be as dark, twisty, dramatic or ironic, but each student has a story. It is because of their background that they enter the classroom with a preconceived idea of how to approach this new environment. Some students are more confused than others and every single student will react in a different way. It is important to recognize this as a teacher and get the students to work together and use and recognize each other’s strengths.

Similarity # 3 What the F is going on here?
This similarity is self explanatory in the fact that I know in my teaching career I will be saying to myself “what the F is going on here!” But it doesn’t end here, many of the questions that surface while watching Lost, are answered after some patience and persistence to continue watching. By continuing to watch and observe your students and be understanding, questions that you have will be answered. Don’t give up. Keep on going, you will survive!

These are just a few! I hope I have gotten your mind ‘a flowin’ and that you too can come up with your own connections to these silly TV shows that seem to draw us in and seemingly consume our lives!