Friday, September 9, 2016

Ron Clark's Inspiration in action

Ron Clark has provided Ms. Ward, Mrs. Vasquez and Mr. Orr with a learning theory that is far different than the theories that are so well known.  To be clear,  it is much like my own. Mr. Clark didn't believe in just one theory or learning style, Ron used all of them integrally and Ms. Ward and Mrs. Vasquez both went to the Ron Clark Academy in Georgia and came back with such inspiration that they knew it had to be instilled into the classroom. They live by a number of rules. I know these rules as I purchased Mr. Clarks three books as well as the movie starring Matthew Perry as Ron Clark and procure to work by those rules and words of wisdom as much as I can.  

The students follow a quick "1-2-3 please look at me." They remove themselves from their chairs to speak to Ms. Ward. Ms. Call has the same rule except in Spanish since Cherry Hill Elementary has a Spanish dual immersion program at the school. They look the teachers in the eyes. They clap for their fellow classmates. There are 55 rules that Mr. Ron Clark had for his students and I'd say over half of those rules are roughly followed by several students at Cherry Hill Elementary in different regards.

IEPs and 504s will never cease to exist, which brings up the need for individualized teaching. These teachers are STARVED for volunteers. They are SO happy to have me. I am continually in service to help with ELL students and even math (which is not my strength), but I am more than glad to help in every way from reading time to ESL lessons to Science or History. I am more than willing to help in every way I can, because I see their struggle and the more I can lessen that struggle, I am willing to help. The teachers work with their students in different ways and work towards helping those who are struggling by sending them to me or scaffolding in the classroom to help the students with their individual needs. These are excellent teachers doing as much as they can with limited resources and their work is magnified beyond what they can imagine.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

My Service Learning Opportunity at Cherry Hill Elementary

I am very excited for this semester to begin.  I was able to converse with Principal Alisa Hart and Asst. Principal Cathy Gateby about this upcoming opportunity at Cherry Hill Elementary for the upcoming semester(s).  The school is in a suburban setting. Cherry Hill is a K-6 program with a large Latino demographic (48%). The school also has a Spanish dual-immersion program.

I have not yet started my service learning. I have received my MAT in TESOL from USC and my major here at UVU  is in Special Education with an Autism minor. Those are the students that I will specialize in, however, I am more than willing to assist the teacher(s) (not yet assigned) wherever I can in accordance with the rules of the waiver. My goal is not to simply attain the 20 hours required by this class. My goal is to work throughout the school year as I have EDEL 2330 (Children's Literature) which also requires 20 hours. I will be able to do more every Friday and it will not be limited to a 20 hour window.  I feel that in order to make an impression on the students, I need to attend to their necessities instead of worrying about my own. If  I am there every Friday, that is the beginning of that process. My needs in terms of this class and subsequent classes will be completed, met and exceeded in the process. 

Principal Hart stated in her opening message to parents, "Our teachers and staff work diligently to help our school recognize each student’s potential, reach for their dreams, and find success every single day. We have amazing things happening at our school each and every day. This is a school where ALL students can succeed and realize their dreams!" This occurs through interaction with the students to help them see the different language patterns including cognates (regular and false) from Spanish to English and vice versa. It will also help students with special needs gain more confidence in their ability to perform in the classroom and overcome or at least adapt to their learning disabilities and recognize what works and what needs to occur to help the learning process continue and improve on a weekly basis.