Thursday, September 08, 2005

Teaching of Writing Reflection Paper 2

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I know this does not pertain directly to the teaching of writing, but something I have been thinking about lately, which has implications for the teaching of writing, I have chosen to make the subject of my journal entry.  In just a few months I will be student teaching, presumably at a high school.
I know I am twenty-one now, and will turn twenty-two when I student teach, and the days when I was seventeen are a long way behind me now.  However high school really does not seem that long ago to me.  I wonder sometimes how much more mature I am then the average seventeen-year-old.
When I think back on high school, I do not remember myself as being incredibly mature, but I was socially behind everyone else.  I remember a lot of the other students being very articulate and thoughtful at that age, more so than I am now.  However, memories have a way of being misleading.  Sometimes when I think back to first grade and what happened there, in my memory all my friends from first grade look and sound like they do now, not like they did in first grade.
My brother is sixteen, and a junior in high school, and he seems incredibly immature to me.  However, first of all I am related to him so that may not be a fair comparison, and secondly I have had a couple people tell me that they thought our whole family seems to develop late, so perhaps he is behind his classmates just like I was.  His friends seem somewhat more articulate than he does; but then again I see so little of his friends.
This past summer I hung out a little bit with people who just graduated from High School, and on the whole they almost seemed smarter than I was, and I thought: “wow, to think I might be teaching these kinds of people in a few months”.  These people are now freshmen at College.  I have often heard my friends say how they hate going over to the dorms, because it is such a huge maturity gap between them and the Freshman here at Calvin, but when I go over to the dorms I do not notice a gap at all really.  In fact, again, most of the time they seem smarter than I do.
My education 191 experience had me placed in a middle school, so that did not help the comparison.  For teaching aiding, I was at a school for immigrants and refugees.  Perhaps because the students struggled to understand what to me seemed like elementary concepts of the English language, they seemed much younger than me than they really were.  For instance, one of the students I was working with, I assumed he was like fifteen or something, and then I found out he was twenty.  He was the same age I was!  This happened a couple other times as well.

Of course, the implications for teaching writing are the same as they would be for any other course.  How do I teach these students how to write if they are smarter than I am?  Or am I just being silly by even asking these questions?  

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