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"to find successful ways to communicate" - Teacher Admission Essay (500 words)

kitjck 1 / 1  
Dec 29, 2010   #1
The prompt is: Describe a challenging experience in your professional or academic career that you overcame. Examples of a challenging experience might include any hardship, failure, conflict, or difficulties that you personally encountered. Identify the steps you took to overcome this experience. What did you learn and how might you apply these learned lessons in the classroom? (500 words)

For my college English as a Second Language (ESL) practicum I worked in a fifth grade classroom for an hour and a half each morning under a teacher who didn't collaborate enough with me. I needed the collaboration, however, because my job was to help a beginning English Language Learner (ELL) from Korea with the content of her lessons. I needed to know what was going to happen so that I could prepare.

My first approach was waiting until the students had gone to their enrichment class and explaining directly that I needed to know what was going to happen so that I could prepare lessons and pictorial definitions for academic vocabulary and other support materials. She said she understood, but then she wouldn't follow through by keeping me informed of her upcoming classroom plans. So then I tried emailing her on a Friday asking her to reply me at some point over the weekend with the lesson plans for the next week. But I stopped doing that when I got a reply that just said: "Math, Science, and some Social Studies". I resolved the problem as best I could by coming to the classroom early each day and asking her what was going to happen just for that morning. At this time of the day she was happy to tell me, and I fetched the handouts myself and used the ten minutes to prepare materials.

The first challenge in this scenario was putting aside my feelings that she was "wrong", and refrain from lecturing her in my head about the research based practices that we learned in college and about what she "should" be doing. I had to let go of blaming her. By the same token, I also had to stop blaming myself. I had to put aside the fear that she resented my presence or, worse, that she didn't like me at all, and instead come up with a rational strategy to make it work between us.

By the end of the quarter we were in a good working rhythm and were a great team. I know that if I had had the lesson plans in advance I could have made a bigger difference to my ELL student but I did the best with what I had to work with. In addition, I learned from the importance of not taking things personally, finding new and better ways to communicate, and that I can't do others' work for them. These lessons are fully transferable to my future career as a classroom teacher when I won't be able to do the work for my students, I will have to find new and more successful ways of communicating with them, and though I can learn from their responses to me and my lessons, taking what they think of me personally will not be beneficial. I will also have to find successful ways to communicate with other teachers, support staff, and the administration of my school.
raghava85 2 / 5  
Dec 29, 2010   #2
Honestly, i did not grammatically understand your introductory sentense. you can start the essay with "i worked in a fifth....for my college's ESL practicum.."

You can use a synonym for collaboration in the second time you mentioned the word "I need the colllaboration..."

My first approach was to wait until.. and explain ...

i feel comfortable in using infinitive (to forms) than using -ing forms in sentences.

So then - need not be written at the same place.

The first challenge in this scenario was putting aside

The flow of your content is good except for many -ing forms in sentences.

Last paragraph is well written.

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