As a teacher, Ms. Duncan feels like “an integral part of the community” and enjoys being able to “change in the world by helping students realize how valuable and unique they are,” but sometimes when we are tired or have had a long day, we may forget the unique power we have.
In a brief interview, Ms. Duncan recalls a long day of parent-teacher conferences and one family that reminded her of the importance of teachers and the power of conversation:
“The mother had walked two miles through the snow with her sixth-grade son, pushing the baby in a stroller [to get to the conference]. She told Duncan that she and her husband hadn’t been able to pursue their education, but wanted something different for their son.”
In fact, the student’s parent told Ms. Duncan that “All our dreams are on his shoulders,” emphasizing the importance of education as a gateway to opportunity. Ms. Duncan explains that teachers are responsible for not only their students, but that we are also “hold in our hands the future of many families, generations even. We cannot let our community down.”
The interview continues to detail Ms. Duncan’s tactics for student engagement (i.e. personal narratives as a form of learning for the student and teacher), her emphasis on building healthy relationships with her students, and how she responded when students are off-task or confused by the lesson. We at TWIN-CS are always fascinated to learn about our bilingual colleagues and hopefully learn from them!
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-Melissa Hoppie, Graduate Student Researcher