May 15, 2001 Teachers
I just completed my first y ear in the Masters of Education in Teaching (MET) Program at the University of Hawaii. Although I’ve always held teaching in high regard, and have the utmost respect for teachers, being in a “real” classroom has really impacted me more than I thought it could.
I already knew that most teachers do more than simply read from a textbook and assign worksheets. I already knew that teaching involves not only the students, but parents, faculty, administration, and the community. I already knew that a teacherﾕs day is endless, with countless hours spent on planning, preparing, and assessing. But from my experiences this year, everything became so real.
One thing that impacted me very deeply was understanding the “story” behind each child. In just one classroom, there is a boy who is sexually confused, coming to school in padded bras and girl’s clothes. There is another boy who takes so much medication for seizures that he often falls asleep in class. Yet another boy, academically the brightest, lives wondering where his dad is. One girl has no thyroid, and sometimes fades in and out of consciousness. And it goes on and on.
Learning about the students in the class really put teaching in a different light for me. I never judge any student based on their home situations or their backgrounds, but it still bothers me. I think about the students all the time. I wonder if the reason they didn’t do their homework was because mom wasn’t home until midnight. Or perhaps their parents don’t understand English. Or maybe they’re busy taking care of younger sisters and brothers.
It gives me the utmost respect for teachers, who unselfishly provide every student a safe and nurturing environment to learn and play. It sometimes makes me feel undeservingly lucky to have had such a wonderful life and family. I often wish that more people (especially the Governor and those legislators) could spend a week or two in a classroom, learning about the students. But most of all, I think they’d be surprised at how “normal” they appear to be.
Maybe then they’ll have the same respect and understanding of what it means to be a teacher.
|Susan Sensei’s English Lesson #77（スーザン先生の英語講座）
For two years I taught English in Japan, and was “スーザン先生” to my students in Ikaho town, Gunma Prefecture. I will try and introduce new words and phrases for the Japanese visitor to Hawaii. Here is this week’s situation:
You are planning on doing some outdoor activities while you are in Hawaii. But because of our occasional showers, you just want to make sure that there’s a better chance of a sunny day. Many times you can ask the front desk or concierge:
“Can you tell me the weather forecast for tomorrow?”
Usually, the weather is great, and showers pass, but this will help for the rainy or cloudy days we sometimes have here!
|Loco Girl’s Profile（ロコ・ガールのプロフィール） Born in Hilo, I grew up going fishing with Dad, shopping with Mom, and trying to be a good “big sister” to a younger sister and brother. A Waiakea High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa alumni, I taught English in Japan for two years on the JET Program. I love doing a lot of things-shopping, reading, lettering, making jewelry & crafts, watching Friends-and that’s just the start of my list! I like being busy, and am active with the JET Alumni Association (JETAA) and the Honolulu Junior Japanese Chamber of Commerce (HJJCC.) My family and friends are, of course, very important to me, and are why I live a very typical, happy, local-style life in Hawaii and will never leave!|