Goal number two asks me to think about a magical teaching moment when I have reached a learner and made a difference.
*I have made up the name of the student.
My magical teaching moment is the story of a boy called Henry. I taught him for two years and worked through a lot of learning difficulties. Henry had a background other than English and struggled to control his behaviour. He was disengaged and wanted to do whatever he liked to do not what the class was doing. He had problems socialising with his peers and was often upset because it was all too hard.
Over the two years Henry remained one of my most challenging students, however the change I saw in him made it all worth while. Gradually Henry was able to attempt the tasks that the rest of the class were doing. His behaviour settled and his learning increased. Henry enjoyed Maths and that was one area that I tried to tap into his enthusiasm and show him that if he worked hard he could understand what I was trying to teach him.
Literacy took a lot longer. Henry made some progress but still required a lot of support. Henry needed the most support with writing. He had no intrinsic motivation for writing and the concentration it took to form letters correctly made writing tiring and boring.
Apart from the excitement that I had in helping Henry succeed in learning one of the most magical moments in this story was when I wanted to get a better picture of Henry’s comprehension when reading. I didn’t want him to have to write so I gave him an iPod and asked him to retell the story orally using Voice Memos. The results were amazing. Henry was able to retell the story from start to finish with expression and humour. He made the story more interesting than it was originally with his voices for the different characters and the excitement in which he told parts of the story.
I was so amazed at what Henry could do, that as soon as it was recess I ran around playing the recording for anyone who would listen. Everyone was so excited. I showed my principal and he said lets get 8 more iPods, that was a response I wasn’t expecting but it showed the power of what Henry had done.
Henry achieved a lot in two years and made a smooth transition into the next year. He still had a long way to go with his learning but his behaviour was no longer a problem and he had made some very close friends.