Today was a different kind of training day for Seahurst. It started off normally with a staff meeting in the abnormally warm school library, discussing GLE’s and how we can make changes happen throughout the school year for every student.
Then after our lunch break, we headed over to the PAC down the road and had the amazing opportunity to listen to IRC (International Rescue Committee) from Highline High School. This group of students began their presentation with speaking in their first language; confused, I looked around at the audience and realized we were pretty much all in the same boat. Then they broke their sequence and spoke English as they explained… this was how they felt when they stepped inside an American classroom for the first time. I had never thought about ELL students in their own shoes before, so this was already something rewarding for me to experience.
Once IRC’s time came to an end, Dr. Tyrone Howard of UCLA spoke. He discussed multicultural education with the audience, and what it means to be an educator to these students of backgrounds that may be darker than what we want to believe or address. How do we handle these kids’ situations? How do we pour ourselves into students whose home lives impact the way they negatively behave and learn in a school environment? The biggest answer Dr. Howard had was we cannot play the blame game – whether that’s on other teachers or all the way down to the parents, blaming anyone isn’t going to make the difference in the student’s life. But what will make the difference is when you attempt to close to cognitive gaps as much as possible before it’s too late for that child.
Honestly, today was amazing. Tomorrow is the open house for my class, so I will get to meet some of my students for the first time and I am getting so excited! This experience has been absolutely such a blessing, and I haven’t even begun to teach with the kids yet.