March 3, 2015

Fortissimo or Pianissimo?

Filed under: Slice of Life — mvervinck @ 12:29 am
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No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.
H.E. Luccock

It is Monday!  After a week off of school, it was difficult to get up this morning.  It would have been nice just to turn off the alarm, roll over, and go back to sleep under those nice warm covers, but I didn’t.  I did what every responsible teacher does after break; I got up, got moving, and began planning my day.   Mondays are always long, and this one was no exception.

Looking back at what I did today, I am amazed at how all of the different things that I did today are related to the quote listed above.  We are all really in this together!  After my first class this morning, I met with an ESL student who had multiple absences and who had missed over two weeks of class.  From this meeting, I found out that since he is not from the United States, he is not comfortable with the health care system here and does not understand it.  The poor man suffered for over two weeks from something that could have been resolved quickly if he knew what to do and where to go for help.  (Once again I was reminded about how as an ESL teacher, I do so much more than just teach English!)  After that, I met with another instructor at the college I work at to determine what we would work on together to improve our program.  I love these meetings!  It gives both of us a chance to talk and to work out solutions to problems that I would never have come up with alone.  That meeting was followed by a discussion with another teacher about the same student I had spoken to earlier in the day.  This instructor was not the one who had brought this student to my attention, but another one who was concerned.  We worked out a plan to help the student in his class as well as the other class.  Now, I am sitting at an adult education program for ESL student listening to my student teachers help adult students improve their English skills.  I was asked for help earlier tonight, so I stepped in when I was needed.  Now, I just get to listen to the laughter, some silence, and lots of English (with an occasional word in Spanish.)  As I listen I created a survey using the questions the other instructor I met with today created.  She did the hard part; I got to do the creative part so that the responses are easy to read and are organized when we sit down in a few days to review them.  The quote listed above was the one I found on the Internet to use on the Thank you for your input page of the survey.

That quote stuck with me even after I read other emails and I decided to write my  post for the Slice of Life Challenge today about that very quote so that I could keep it and be able to find it later when reviewing past posts.  There may be times when the symphony is playing fortissimo or other times when playing pianissimo and still others when a soloist gets his or her chance to shine while the rest of the orchestra is silent.  We are all in this together and in so many multifaceted ways.

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