Interactive Lessons and Music to Communicate

Throughout the weeks that I have been in Rome studying, I have taught in two very different schools. Also, I visited several different schools as well. I am currently studying to become a Special Education teacher. I will be certified in grades K-12 for both mild to moderate and moderate to intensive students. One of the schools is located in the city next to campus called Albano Laziale. To get to this school, I had to take the bus to Albano Laziale. Once I got off the bus I had about a ten-minute walk to the school. The school is called the Rossini school. Rossini was a rather big school in my opinion. There are multiple classrooms for each grade level. For example, there are about four classrooms just for the fifth grade. The classroom that I was in when I visited the school for the first time had about twenty-two students. Teaching for the first time at Rossini was very memorable.

The last visit to Rossini was the most influential in my education. When I went to the school for the last time, I was placed into a fifth grade classroom. The students were of the ages of around eleven or twelve. There were about twenty students in the classroom with two teachers as well. The students in this class spoke English well enough for me to carry out conversations with them. For the last visit, my partner, Michele, and I decided to change our lesson. We decided that we wanted to teach about diversity and how it is everywhere, whether it is in the classroom or out in public. The lesson was an interactive lesson. I had the students make a circle around their desks with enough space to move around. Then, I explained to the students what they were going to be doing. I explained that when I ask a specific question, if it applied to them, they had to take a giant step forward. For example, one of the questions was “Step forward if you have blond hair” and since I have blond hair I took a giant step forward. The rest of the students that had blond hair stepped forward as well. After the students took a step forward, I had them go back to their spot in the circle in line with everyone else. Some of the other questions I asked include; step forward if you have blue eyes, step forward if you have a younger brother, step forward if your favorite season is autumn, step forward if you write with your left hand, and step forward if your favorite color is blue. Some of he questions I had to have the teachers translate for me because they were a little too complicated for them to understand it in English. Not only did the students and myself participate in this activity, the classroom teachers joined in as well. After we did this activity, I asked the students what this was an example of. The students and I then proceeded to discuss how diverse their classroom is. After the discussion, the students had questions for me so we had a Q&A session.

The Q&A session is when I connected with the students the most. Since they were older than the other classrooms I taught in, they had more questions. Not only did they have more questions, I was able to carry out conversations with them. Some of the questions they had asked me included; where I was from, if I listen to YouTube, how old am I, and what my favorite musical artist was. The musical artist question sparked an awesome and memorable conversation with the students and myself. I actually pulled out my phone and I played some of my favorite songs for the students to hear. We then found many songs that they listened to and that I listened to. A few of the songs I played for them include; Lucky Strike by Maroon 5, Bloodstream by Ed Sheeran, and Viva la Vida by Coldplay. The students absolutely loved Coldplay and their songs. The connection tat we had established through music was just incredible.

Being able to connect with the students through music showed me that people can connect with each other in one way or another We both use YouTube as a method to listen to our favorite artists. Since both the students and myself listen to music on YouTube, we were able to bond over the different music genres. The students were recommending songs for me to listen to as well as different artists to listen to. The media helped us connect with each other and I will never forget that lesson and day in that specific classroom. The experience further confirmed how excited I am to become a future educator.

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