General Competency Ten. The teacher candidate fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support students’ learning and well-being.
Principle 10. Language teachers foster relationships with school colleagues, families, and agencies in the larger community to support students’ learning and well-being.
It is important to foster a sense of community within and with out the classroom. Getting to know the students is essential, building a relationship with them enables trust and lowers the affective filters. Demonstrating that each student is a valued participant in the class, and implementing various group collaboration strategies, will cause the students to get to know one another and respect each other and this too will foster an effective learning environment. Similarly, being in contact with the parents, not only provides a check to the students, but also informs them that you find their work to be important, and that you care about their progress.
Since January 2011, I have worked as a volunteer English tutor for Lincoln Literacy Council. It has been a rewarding experience to spend one hour a week with a young woman from Vietnam who is working to improve her English literacy and speaking abilities. I endeavor to keep our time together enjoyable and valuable to her. Our lessons are rather informal, but each week I try to bring something, a photo, a book, something from home, to show her and for us to discuss. I hope that this demonstrates my interest in her and her progress and that in turn makes her want to keep coming back. Motivation is key to learning a language and it can be especially hard to keep your motivation when you are reaching from the level of Intermediate High to Advanced Low and on higher. Developing in skill at these levels take a lot of hard work and the improvements are subtle.