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I believe that as a teacher, I am a facilitator for my students. I am the person that assists my students in achieving their goals no matter how diverse their learning needs may be. I help my students realize their self worth and demonstrate self-efficacy. I believe that using positive reinforcement in my classroom will encourage my students to be active and hands on in their educational career. Additionally, I believe it’s important for educators to recognize the needs of their students and to continue to seek ways to develop professionally. As a pre-service teacher, I am doing everything I can to prepare myself for the challenges I may encounter in my future classrooms. A major focus of my current education is teaching Mathematics to ESL students. I believe these students have an incredible amount of potential and deserve to have a teacher who comes to the classroom with numerous strategies to help them succeed. Language and ethnic diversity are common features found in most schools in the United States. Educators are given a variety of strategies to utilize when teaching students who speak other languages (ESL), and yet these students still struggle to meet their academic goals. Often times, the language barrier inhibits their ability to truly understand what they are being taught and steps need to be taken in order to better provide for these students. This is especially true when teaching Mathematics to ESL students. Many people consider Math to be a universal language. However, ESL students who are thrown into a general education classroom with no knowledge of the English language would disagree. In my experiences I have noticed that ESL students who are not given a solid foundation of Mathematical vocabulary tend to struggle in their math and science based classes. Although they may understand the formulas be able to answer questions on a worksheet, when talking with them after instruction you can notice a large gap in their vocabulary and overall understanding of the topic. In my opinion, one of the most important parts of education is the students' ability to think about what they have been taught and apply this knowledge elsewhere. Educators should encourage the students to think critically, rather than memorize a few facts. To do this in mathematics, ESL students need to understand mathematical terminology. This particular component of education is one that I am very concerned about.
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