Today was my second day of new teacher training for the Lower Kuskokwim School District. I think the most profound piece of advice I heard in the last two days was that if you weren’t already a patient person you will learn patience. I will try to keep this in mind as I meet the challenge of my new job. Science won’t be the easiest subject to teach on the Video Network. And I have already meet a few skeptics among the staff at school. I hope that I can convince folks that teaching over the network provides opportunities for kids. And while it isn’t a perfect replacement for live classes, it can be a good option for rural communities.
I enjoyed the Yupik culture class that started today. I am very impressed with the commitment to culture and Yup’ik language that the district has made. In most villages, the students are taught entirely in Yup’ik from Kindergarten to 3rd grade. Once they can read and write well in Yup’ik, they transition to English. The school stands by the research that shows the students should learn to read and write in one language. They will be able to transfer these literacy skills to their second language(English) and ultimately score better than ESL students who try to learn literacy in two languages at once.
I hope to learn as much Yup’ik as I can while I am here.