Thursday, May 12, 2011

1 Last Blog I Guess

So honestly, I have no idea if anyone is ever going to read this. I just needed to post this because I am still going to my VIPs school and I had an experience geeze I wish I had it during the semester so I could've shared.

So yesterday I went to my school and my teacher wasn't there. But they didn't have a sub, they just shuffled the kids throughout the school. The teacher next door saw me and welcomed me it. She told me that a few of my kids ended up in her room and I was more than welcomed to stay.

I was then told that this classroom was an ESL room. Now all semester I've heard people talking about having kids who didn't speak English, and I didn't witness this. I didn't get it. Who would've thought that the ESL room was right next door to me. This isn't the part that I wanted to share, while interesting, it's not enough to get me to post knowing no one will read it.

This teacher then informed me of something extraordinary. This class was actually made up of many refugees from all over the world. Some survived Haiti, some from countries or cities that were going through a civil war. One little girl from from a town in Ethiopia and in the town there was a war going on. Her mother was killed by a soldier and her dad was assassinated. These kids were so young.
The extraordinary part was the progress that these kids had made. Most of them didn't know how to hold a pencil when they came to this school never mind write. The girl from Ethiopia, because of where she was from, spoke a foreign language. I asked, "well is there someone who can get a translator?" This teacher told me, while they worked one on one with a man who spoke many of their languages, where this girl was from, their tribe spoke a dialect, of a dialect of the language. Because of that, no one could translate her.
When I got there, I couldn't tell. It was amazing. The kids were actually writing, while messy, was very legible. In September, they were, scribbling basically, and here they were just months later writing whole words!!! This blew my mind. The little girl even came up to me and pet my hair because it looked "pretty".

I think my favorite part of this classroom was what I saw next. The teacher was going over measuring objects on the overhead with units of measurement such as blocks or paperclips. She would go around the classroom picking one student. Before she picked that one, she would tell them she didn't want any of the kids going AWWWW or being upset because they didn't get picked. What I saw instead amazed me!!!
Not only did the kids not complain when a fellow classmate got picked....they clapped and cheered. They were so happy that a fellow classmate got picked to go up!!! I was Amazed...and there isn't any other word to describe it.

My teacher told me, that she was lucky. When they handed out pink slips, her principal told her she didn't want her to reapply, she just wanted her back. Of course my teacher was ecstatic but at the same time, she didn't know why. She wished that the principal had told her what she liked in particular so that she could make sure to keep that up.

After being in this class for three hours, which honestly...flew by! I figured it out. Like, that's what I want. When I saw this teacher, you could tell. You could easily tell that this is what she wanted and that she loved doing it. Even more impressive, is that the kids were having fun. They were laughing, smiling.....and learning!!! I thought fun and learning in this school was an oxymoron!!!

So I know no one will read this, but this event meant way too much to me to not write down!   Have a great summer everyone

Monday, May 2, 2011

Social Justice Event

So A few weeks ago I went to a Karate seminar. I've been to a few, but this seemed the most interesting. In most seminars, you go and learn new moves and techniques. My first seminar was conducted my Grand Masters from Hawaii. They showed us weapon moves, as well as an ancient form that people outside of their style will never see unless they are, very lucky, if you will. Not sure of the exact way to word that.
This time. the seminar was conducted by a doctor named Robert McKittrick.
A short Introduction of this man.
  • New Jersey State Trooper
  • Chief Athletic Physician, D.B.R., State of RI
  • Physician at U.S Nationan Boxing Team/A.I.B.A Certified
  • Physician at Cranston Medical, Inc.
  • Was in the US Army
  • Graduated from Brown University in 1989 in Neural Science, B.S. 
  • Graduated from Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
To say the least, this man has quite the experience. I was foretold that the seminar would be on nerves on the body and the use of them in Martial Arts. I never dreamed I would be able to use this for my Social Justice Event, but as I have spoken about earlier, and as you will see, it was very connectable. 
Anyways, I got to the place, it was at a building called "The Battleground" where there was a lot of MMA training equipment. This building was right off of Main Street in EG near KON if anyone is familiar with the area.
Anyway, so I went in the building expecting to guy to show us how to use the nervous system against our opponent. It was this...and much, much more.
We started by learning about the body, the history of the martial arts, many different ancient masters, as well as himself. To make a long blog short, let me get to the point.
This man taught us about the truths and faults in our own styles. Having studied many different styles, he was able to figure out what was the most effective moves. What I took away from this was the following.
I have studied 2 styles mixed into one in my 13 year career of the martial arts. They are Kenpo Ji-Jitsu. I have learned everything in that respect and that respect only . Dr. McKittrick taught me to throw out that perspective. Rather actually, not throw it out, but make us understand that this can't be our only perspective or else the knowledge we gain becomes extremely limited. WE must be willing to see other styles, and take in what makes sense to us, whether or not it agrees with our focus styles.

I can easily compare this to this class and teaching. Working on becoming a teacher with a special needs concentration, there will prove to be very many difficulties in teaching my future many students each who will need their own individual attention, while still focusing on the classroom as an entirety. This is actually true with any teacher. Importantly I gained the idea that, as a teacher...what I think is the right way to teach something or do something in a classroom, can't be the only way that I use. I have to understand, which I do now after going to this seminar, is that I have to learn everything I can, and from there do what feels right, and seems most effective. I have to become able to mix different teaching styles to create a style that is most beneficial to my classroom and more importantly my students.
From this Event, there was one quote that stood out above all. I have mentioned it before and I will mention it now because it truly ties this all together.
From Doctor Robert McKittrick himself..."Everybody learns the same alphabet, yet, every person has a different signature" While I want ensure that all of my children learn the same material, it's impossible that every child will learn the same way, and with the idea of connecting every idea I learn, I will have to create my own styles to compensate and overcome disabilities for my students to ensure their learning progress.