This Wednesday I skyped with Rita Santiago, an ESOL teacher for adult students. Rita is from Wisconsin, and she has the most experience with teaching of anyone I have ever met. She has taught at all levels for teaching English as a second language and has taught Spanish in the past. Her students that she currently teaches range from 18 years old to 75 years old. This teacher has such an amazing relationship with her students, and she loves her job so much. She gave me inspiration and hope for when I become a teacher in the future.
We discussed how teaching English as a second language is so rewarding for her, and how she loves to go to work every day because of the impact that her students have made on her. Teaching English as a second language is my major at Nazareth for my Masters, so we connected on such a huge level… it was amazing. She could tell just by talking to me that I was excited to be a new teacher, and I was looking forward to working with students that needed my help. She made me feel as though I am in the right place and made me appreciate all that I have to look forward to in the future.
Rita Santiago and I also discussed the ways in which she uses technology in her teaching. She said that twitter was the best thing that she could have found for her classroom. She feels that it has enhanced her lessons and has given her the opportunity to talk with other teachers to help herself as a teacher. She has also used Google Docs, which she has felt is a great tool to use with her students in an interactive way. I talked to her about all the ways we have used technology in our course this year and the tools that I will apply to my future classroom. I told her that we have used Voicethreds in the class, and she offered ways that it could be useful. Rita told me that her class used it as a story telling exercise, where she did the reading and showed pictures of the book as it went along. I thought this was a great idea to use this tool, and it such a great way to engage younger children. I will definitely use this tool in my future teaching.
I was so appreciative that I had the opportunity to talk with Rita Santiago, and I feel that I have taken so much out of our conversation. I never anticipated that I would talk to her for over an hour and learn so much from our discussion. Our conversation flowed naturally, there were no awkward moments throughout the discussion. She talked to me about monumental things that I will never forget about teaching. She told me that I am meant to be a teacher, and if my students can tell that I care about them, then that is all you could ask for as a teacher. I thought this was great advice, and I know I will be talking to Rita again soon through Skype!!