This week marked the beginning of my professional experience. Although I intend to work in Secondary Education, I have begun my experience in a Primary setting; specifically Year Two. The school’s motto is ‘every child, every opportunity’, this really translates in the classroom which has a large range of learner differences. From behavioural disorders and learning disabilities to a large contrast in ages between 6 1/2- 8 and a majority of students who speak English as a second language (ESL), the classroom can become pretty chaotic. Or as my supervisor lovingly describes it: “A party!”
Obtaining the focus of every student, giving instruction and having them understand this information proves to be one of the most difficult tasks in the classroom. From the beginning, my supervisor encouraged me to be very hands on in my role, allowing me to navigate the classroom and directing instructions for the second task. However, after I had finished my explanation, I looked at the students to see if they had begun the task, but none of them had moved an inch and each of them looked up at me bewildered. “You might as well have been speaking Spanish!” my supervisor said, instructing me to use more tone in my voice and exaggerate my body language when speaking. This lack of understanding often led to disinterest, restlessness and bad behaviour, which could quickly spiral out of control. Through the use of classical conditioning, with sound or clapping techniques, the teacher is quickly able to regain the attention of the class (and a moment of peace).
Good work on your blog post! A very conversational piece of writing that was particularly sensitive of your audience. Including some evidence to back up a few of your points would truly elevate your writing – for example, when you mention the opinions and attitudes of ‘critics’, definitely name-drop a few! Also maybe consider referring back to the question you posed in the title more often throughout, I felt it went a little unanswered. Overall well done and keep it up!
It has been said about Jane Austen that she is basically trying to show her readers how they should live their lives. Do you agree with this statement?
Jane Austen’s ironic depiction of high and middle-class society never ages and never loses its fierce critical edge. However, she has been almost entirely domesticated through her popularity. The subversiveness inherent in Austen’s accomplishment – a woman making great, lasting art by describing little, fleeting lives – has been overshadowed by the pleasures she offers; a world in which we can completely immerse ourselves. Jane Austen’s Highbury is not a real English town of 1815 but a literary creation, which many readers, imagining themselves living there, forget. Somehow we have forgotten too that Austen’s novels are a comic depiction of society, offering piercing comprehensions of our social habits. Jane Austen is not showing readers how they should live their lives, but how readers already do live their lives.
In 1852, George Henry Lewes, the literary critic, contributed an essay to the Westminster Review titled “The Lady Novelists.” In it, Lewes gave a survey of what he called “the field of female literature.” Here he agreed that there were spheres of life that Austen did not attempt to depict, understanding that she was always an English countrywoman describing the lives of other English countrywomen. But “her world is a perfect orb and vital,” he wrote. “To read one of her books is like an actual experience of life.” Lewis went on to argue that Austen is not doctrinaire; there is “not a trace of woman’s ‘mission’” about her.
Jane Austen is a reflective author, not presumptuous, but this is what makes her novels immortal. We continue to live in a culture in which self-presentation and social nuance are topics of keen interest. Austen understood that we are almost invariably subjective and self-interested, she does not ask us to change this, instead, she pinpoints the irony in these human characteristics and laughs with us. It is from this perspective that Austen can still teach us something about human nature and its social expression, nearly two hundred years after her death.