By Jana Echevarria, Ph.D.
Those of us who have the privilege of working with teachers know that there is a plethora of talent in our profession. In addition to being excellent teachers, many are also very creative and use their creativity in ways that benefit their students. In this case, a creative “student” amazed his “teacher.” What do I mean?
Aaron Reid is a teacher who was taking an online SIOP class, called a SIOP Virtual Institute. SIOP professional developer Amy Washam was his “teacher” or the facilitator of the Virtual Institute. As part of the week’s assignment, students were asked how implementation of the SIOP Model’s features lead to differentiated classroom instruction and language development for English learners? Here is Aaron’s a creative and poetic response.
A SIOP-less Class
by Aaron Reid
Are you surprised at the amount of teachers who don’t prepare lessons for their students…? That’s not even fair. Now consider yourself a student whose is not a native speaker, listening to the inane prattles of an unprepared teacher!
Spouting facts and figures, clumsily put together, rather than intriguing content and meaningful endeavors. Imagine your background not considered, your culture ignored, strange vocabulary without scaffold written on the chalkboard.
Words approaching so fast, you can barely make them out. No models, no visuals, you’d definitely be filled with doubt. Only one way to complete tasks that you don’t understand. No scaffolding, no support, no one lending a hand.
Question asked…you’re thinking… but given no “wait time”, Teacher glares…you’re sinking… is thinking a war crime? Collaborative conversations don’t exist so you’re the “dumb” kid. Never speaking, in the corner, determined to stay off the grid.
Manipulatives make it easy but you don’t know their operation. The only time you see manipulatives is during your teacher’s observation. Unsure of what you’re supposed to know, terrified to do your best…Another English learner victim of the reading benchmark test…
Whew…! That’s a lot! But that was just a nightmare. After all, that would be more than you could bear. 15 years of SIOP has made the classroom a brighter place so optimized learning English learners can embrace!