Monday, October 12, 2009

Interview 3


1. After working with students who have special needs, do you feel a degree in Psychology should be mandatory to assist in dealing with the student?
With my graduate course in Clinical Psychology, it helped me a lot in dealing with my stress and coping with my students’ emotional burdens as well. It helped me become a good listener to the students and parents.

b. How would studying Psychology improve the relationship between student and pupil?
Everyday in the classroom, students are struggling with emotional pain and conflict. One compassionate moment of listening can let the child know he or she has been heard, that you care. It may indeed take less than ten seconds. And that student may remember the brief encounter for the rest of his life.

c. What is your response to a situation where students of your class begin to feel inferior, and allow their disabilities conquer their natural abilities?
I invest in building rapport with my students by listening to them when they don’t have serious problems. I acknowledge and validate their positive feelings as well as negative ones (“You’re really excited about making the team”; or “You must be very proud of your award”).

2. What is your personal philosophy on disciplining students that lack respect or misbehave on a consistent basis?
From experience, it is true that “they won’t care how much you know if they don’t know how much you care”. It doesn’t mean that you should try to be their buddy. It means treating each student with dignity and respect.

a. In what ways do you incorporate the importance of discipline in the classroom with the students?
I motivate my students to comply with rules and I state them in a positive way. Early in the year, I hold a class discussion on students’ rights in the classroom. I solicit ideas from my students as to what is right and which ought to be accorded all students. I focus the discussion on the responsibilities that must accompany any right.

b. From individual experience, do you think that it may be easier to maintain an orderly classroom with students in the special education program or in a “normal” school setting?
It doesn’t matter what kind of students you have, key is being sure that the rules and expectations are clear. Some teachers haven’t given much thought to what they do want but what they don’t want. Such negative focusing is inefficient. I do not assume that my students will correctly guess what I expect of them. I develop high expectations of my students, their academic performance, as well as their classroom conduct.

3. At what point in time do you feel as though you must put your career as a teacher on the back end and instead be more of a role model/ positive mentor for the child?
Always, my role as a teacher is to model best practices to my students, to inspire and motivate them to do what is right for them to succeed in life.

a. How do you cope with students that may come from unfortunate backgrounds? Or do not have parents that are active in their lives?
I treat them as my own child, we are a family in my classroom and we stand up for each other and do not let each other down. It does not matter to me where they come from; I welcome everyone with open arms.

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