In the summer of 1998 my family fled the newly created independent country of Croatia (Former-Yugoslavia) to the United States. My parents came here in hopes of finding a better life as the economy was still recovering from Croatia’s war of independence. We first settled in Amarillo, Texas for a few months. We traveled around the states for a year or so looking for other refugees. After some searching my parents decided to move to Connecticut as it offered the best incentives for refugees. Listening to stories about this time of my life has given me a chance to appreciate the help we received from various government programs that settled us, clothed us, fed us, and helped us become independent American citizens. Now I want to give back and the best way I know to do this is by teaching the future generations of Americans.
My bilingual background helps me connect to many students of both inner-city schools and suburban schools. I remember how mathematics was incredibly difficult for me and because of this I can relate to the struggles students have with math. For a teacher to be successful they need to create relevance for the students. I understand how to relate the various topics of mathematics to topics of the world, which for most students is difficult to do, For example, I remember at the CREC School I was observing at, there was a student of Bosnian decent who was having trouble understanding how to read a map of the United States. So I showed her a map of Bosnia with the same map key, and we discerned what everything meant (where the capital was, where the ocean was, major port cities were, etc…). She caught on quickly as she already had an understanding of Bosnia and it quickly transferred over to th...
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...e ALEKSs program in the high school in Enfield now.
As a general math tutor in the Learning Center at ACC, I help with homework. Sometimes I find that I have to teach certain concepts, and other times I just have to ask the right questions and let students find the answer in their own response. Through the experiences at ACC I have learned how to be comfortable in front of multiple students and to teach certain topics.
My life experiences, including struggles, challenges and personal successes have motivated me to become a teacher. As a bilingual learner and hopefully a bilingual teacher, I will be able to connect with bilingual students. My experiences as a tutor help me “read” students to clear their confusions in small groups and one on one tutoring. Even now as a teacher observer I am gaining more and more knowledge that will help me become a great teacher.
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