Let me begin by telling you all that I had an amazing group of students at Greenwood High School earlier this semester while I was in the USA. The students that I have now in Spain are very different from what I am used to. For any of you with experience in education, I want you to imagine one of your least favorite students. Imagine a student who shows up late, talks whenever they want to, does not do homework, curses, talks back to the teacher, cheats off of others, and any other annoying things that they may do. Now imagine a classroom full of that type of student, all day, every day. It truly is amazing what the teachers try to deal with here. Most teachers just end up yelling at the students because they do not know what else to do.
The classroom management has been nothing less than shocking to witness. I came here hoping to learn some new strategies or activities. Instead, I have learned how vital classroom management is. You MUST establish rules and procedures AND enforce them! I feel as if the students do not have this, and that is why they act the way that they do. I am learning how important everything that I have been taught about teaching at WKU is in the classroom. Students go crazy without structure! And then that will make the teacher crazy (crazier)! Thankfully, I have been able to take a few students out of the classroom at a time and tutor them. That might be all that I can handle haha!
My supervising teacher gave me the opportunity to teach a business lesson for a few days instead of tutoring students in English. I organized an business research activity for the students to complete where they had to use the computer lab, create posters, present their information in English, and perform a small skit. They usually sit in the classroom and go through the book...so this was a very different experience for them. I was so impressed at how well they worked. I guess I was expecting them to be off-task during the project work time. I think they were excited to be out of the classroom and they wanted to do a good job for the American....haha. Each group presented their project to the class, and they all did an excellent job! Anddddd their classroom now has some pretty posters hanging up :)
They really are sweet kids, and I do not blame them for acting the way that they do. I thoroughly enjoy having conversations with them. I have to continuously remind myself that I am in a different culture which means there are a lot of differences. I have been treated with respect for the most part (this leads to another story for another time). I have grown as a teacher and as a person. I have a deeper appreciation for American schools and the American culture. I am also reminded of how much I care about my students back in the US. And maybe WKU just has a really awesome teacher education program that sets the bar very high for teachers? I came here expecting to learn, and I have, but I did not learn what I was expecting. I am appreciative for my experience and how it will carry over to my own classroom. I can't wait to visit my old students and tell them how awesome they are (and hopefully their heads won't get too big)!
I'll be home soon!