Meeting the Students

October 13, 2010 at 2:14 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Class, Lesson Plans, Teaching | Comments Off on Meeting the Students

September is a very busy month here at LCNV. There are registrations, there is data entry, and many other things that just consume our time. The most exciting thing, however, happens at the end of September when classes begin and the teachers meet their students. Little by little, the teachers get to know their students, and this is perhaps one of the most important and rewarding parts of the job. It is important to know a little bit about each student because it helps with lesson planning. For example, what if you had a class that was mainly composed of construction workers?  Would you spend so much time teaching them about getting books out of the library or getting a library card? Most likely you would lesson plan to help them build the type of vocabulary that they might hear at work every day. Also, what if you knew that a group of students in your class had almost no schooling and their literacy skills were way too low? In this case you would know that a little more lesson planning is required and that referring them to the ESOL tutoring program is probably the best thing to do.  

I would say that getting to know the student is the most rewarding part of teaching for me. After all, how can you not feel like helping someone when you know that, for example, they migrated to the United States from Afghanistan, and that they never had the chance to go to school? Another example, how can you not feel motivated to help when you know that one of your students was an airplane mechanic back home and is learning English so he can one day obtain his airplane mechanic certification in the U.S. and have a better life? In addition, students can give teachers those moments that I can only describe as priceless. For instance, when one of your students says, in the little English they know, that you are a great teacher and that they are learning a lot. That is the type of recognition that ESOL teachers look for.

-Jose Flores, Lead Teacher and AmeriCorps Volunteer

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