Chaos, Beauty, Education.
… the following is an excerpt from a Personal Statement piece I wrote for grad school applications. This was my favorite part:
“ I taught my first (ESL) class in February, 2015. The sub plan was simple: follow three pages from Freddy’s World (our book) as a class and complete three pages in the workbook. I quickly realized the plan would only occupy 20 minutes of our hour-long period. To begin the lesson, I followed the pages in Freddy’s World, which detailed different foods along with the statements “I like” or “I do not like”. After completing the pages, I gave each student two pieces of paper (if only we had white boards!) instructing each to write “I like” on one sheet and “I do not like” on the other. Then I turned on the projector and we spent the remaining time looking at pictures of food while I prompted the class: “4th grade, Do you like rice?”, “4th grade, Do you like Pizza?”, etc. I instructed them to hold up signs in response, but eventually the excitement of the activity took over and the whole class began shouting answers instead of holding up the appropriate sign. The room spiraled into a chaotic mess of 4th graders standing on chairs shouting in broken English. But it was my mess, my beautiful, chaotic, educational mess.
This lesson was beautiful because all 30 students participated. Even Ernest who couldn’t articulate the difference between green and blue (in English) was shouting, “I like Pizza! I Like Pizza!”. Sure, I didn’t change their lives in a single lesson. I didn’t change their lives in a year, but for a year I was a part of their lives and they in mine. They inspired me and made me realize that being a teacher is more than an academic position, it’s a person who walks into school every day and has the capacity to make meaningful educational moments.”