Monthly Archives: March 2013

Learning in Publicizing.

Writing and blogging about my teaching (practically and especially theoretically) is very comfortable for me. I am passionate about writing, and I am distanced enough from my viewer/reader/listener that I find it naturally easy to share my professional thinking. I appreciate feedback, but my main purpose for writing has not been to seek this out, and I have processed feedback more as a reflection of my writing and ideas as opposed to of my practice.

Over the past few months, however, I have been forced into the discomfort of being public as a teacher—of exposing my actual teaching practices in action to evaluation and critique. This process has transitioned my thinking in a few ways. For one, I feel much more comfortable now with teaching in front of others (whereas before I would have rather shut the door so no one else can see me struggle through the act/art of teaching my students). I now know that I am able to tune out my observers and still be present with my students (which is very important to me), and the feedback I have received from them has been incredibly valuable, informing my further/future practice in critical ways. That said, this recent experience with publicizing my practice has also made me view my writing/blogging in a different light. Now that I have received valuable feedback from my applied practice, I find myself wanting to take the feedback from my written reflections/ponderings and apply it beyond my writing to my actual teaching practice.

In terms of my digital professional community, I have not made much progress in developing and initiating cycles of feedback and ongoing discussion. However, in my social professional world, I have seen tremendous growth in my openness (and eagerness) to accept and seek out critical feedback. Although this has not transferred deeply into my digital professional networks (for many reasons, time being a primary force), it has transformed my perspective and mindset regarding the value of these networks. I envision myself seeking out participation in professional conversations among digital communities as my practice progresses, and especially as I move into my first year of (certified) teaching.


Learning in literature.

El niño que no puede leer bien.

Desde el empiezo del año,
he estado trabajando en la lectura con un niño del quinto grado.
——–Yo había pedido para trabajar con un estudiante de habla hispana aprendiendo inglés.

Caminé en su salón de clase por primera vez.
——–Me dio una mirada nerviosa, con sonrisita.
Tenía dos libros de capítulos inglés en su escritorio.
——–The Lightning Thief por Rick Riordan y
——–The Book of Pirates por Howard Pyle.

Nos conocimos, y le pregunté si leyera sus libros conmigo.
Abrió su libro de piratas.
——–Dijo que sus libros favoritos tienen historias de piratas.
Pero cuando empezó a leer, las palabras eran muy difíciles.
——–Él no podía leer más de dos o tres palabras en el primer pagina.

Cuando le evalué en la lectura, estaba a un nivel pre-kinder.
——–Sin embargo, él podía entender las historias cuando leí a él.

La próxima semana, traje algunos libros en español.
Cuando empecé con La Oruga Hambrienta por Eric Carle, me dijo,
——–—Mi papa lee esto a mi hermanita cada noche, pero
——–¡nunca lo ha leído a mí!
Le gustó la historia.
Nos reímos mucho.

Entonces, leímos Leo, el Retoño Tardío por Robert Kraus.
——–Olvidé que es la historia era de un tigre que no podía leer.
Cuando se lo leí, parecía más frágil.
——–Hablábamos solo en español.
Leo, el tigre, era él.
Él es Leo.

Antes del fin, Leo lee.
——–—¡Leo puede leer!
Nos reímos de nuevo.

——–—¡Le veo en dos semanas!


The boy that can’t read well.

Since the start of this year,
I have been working on reading with a fifth grader.
——–I had requested to work with a Spanish-speaking ELL student.

I walked into his classroom for the first time.
——–He gave me a nervous smile.
He had two English chapter books on his desk.
——–The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan and
——–The Book of Pirates by Howard Pyle.

We met, and I asked him if he would read his books with me.
He opened his book about pirates.
——–He said that his favorite books have stories about pirates.
But when he started, the words were much too difficult.
——–He could not read more than two or three words on the first page.

When I evaluated him in reading, he was at a pre-kindergarten level.
——–However, he could understand the stories when I read to him.

The next week, I brought some books in Spanish.
When I started La Oruga Hambrienta (The Hungry Caterpillar) by Eric Carle, he told me,
——–“My father reads this to my little sister every night, but
——–——–he has never read it to me!”
He really liked the story.
We laughed a lot.

Then, we read Leo, el Retoño Tardío (Leo, the Late Bloomer) by Robert Kraus.
——–I forgot that this is a story about a tiger that cannot read.
When I read this to him, he seemed more fragile.
——–We talked only in Spanish.
Leo was him.
He is Leo.

Before the end, Leo reads.
——–“¡Leo puede leer!”
—————-(Leo can read!)
We were laughing again.

——–“¡Le veo en dos semanas!”
—————-(See you in two weeks!)