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Salopez's picture

I was fortunate enough to continue my Praxis placement at Leaf Middle School* this semester. I was placed in this class as part of my English Language Learners class that I was taking last semester. I was sitting in on a 7th grade beginning language and 8th grade beginning language ESL class with my supervising teacher Mrs. C.* Leaf Middle School is located in the Upper Darby school district. After traveling to the school, I was welcomed by beautiful grounds and welcoming signs within the school. The security at the front door remembered my name and quickly signed me in.

I walked up the stairs to the classroom and was welcomed by the students in the hallway. "Hey Ms. Lopez!" students said to me as I was walking to Mrs. C's room. The students were in the process of changing classes and the hallways were booming with life. I found Mrs.C.’s classroom and walked inside. She currently was in the middle of a planning period, so we were able to catch up and talk about what was to come.

The class that I received was the 8th grade developing language class. The students were excited to see me and some even gave me hugs as they walked into the room. There were two new students added to the class: Henry* and Laila*. Both students were not able to participate in the work that the other students were doing because their lack of language. During this period, the class was asked to work on a Who? What? Where? When? and Why? worksheet responding to a reading about the Sochi Olympics. After completing the worksheet, the students were asked to write a short essay (6-7 sentences) about the Olympics. Mrs. C. asked me to supervise them while she worked with Henry and Laila in the front. I found that the students really had a hard time paraphrasing as well as trouble with homophones (i.e. a student meant to write globe but she wrote glove instead).

The students went to lunch and then returned for another session. This time the students were working on a point of view worksheet. Mrs. C. walked the students through the main points on how to differentiate points of view. She makes sure to ask pressing questions to the students in order to make sure that they understand what they’re learning.

Mrs. C. already has told me that I will be teaching lessons to her 8th grade developing language class. We’re in the process of designing multi-cultural lesson plans in order to tap into the student cultural knowledge and use them as a basis to teach and reinforce their English language skills. I feel that there are so many possibilities for the students to become interested in language and learn about different cultures in this class. Because the class is so ethnically diverse, I feel that the students will be excited to share stories and relate what we will be reading about to their own personal experiences. I feel that a challenge that I will face will be the fact that English is not my strong point. Sometimes I ask myself if a sentence that the student is writing is correct or incorrect since I’m well aware that my grammar is not the best. I just hope that I don’t provide students with the wrong answers.