Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Another Reason My Mom Rules

My mom teaches remedial reading to elementary school kids. By and large, most of her students aren't actually behind in reading, they just don't speak--and therefore don't read--English. Last year, she had help. Her school had an ESL teacher who worked with the kids who were learning English and my mom stuck to the kids who really had reading difficulties. This year, though, the school decided they didn't need an ESL teacher. So, my mom has both groups of kids all to herself again. She is implementing a plan, which she just called to tell me about. She's taking the second and third graders who benefited from the hard work of the ESL teacher and know a great deal of English, and sticking them with the kids who only know Spanish, and letting the bilingual kids help the Spanish-speaking kids learn English. "We're not allowed to speak to them in Spanish," she said. "It's the immersion stuff they have us doing which just doesn't work. But I won't be speaking Spanish to them." "You're a genius, Ma." "Don't tell anyone, but I'm learning Spanish, anyway. What if there's a fire?* Someone has to be able to tell them. I don't care what the rules are." "And a rebel, I see." *See, Professor, I come by my worries about hypothetical events honestly.


Blogger bridgett said...

She should get a promotion for employing "peer to peer" tutoring -- which is way more effective for both kids (active-active learning) than shutting them up and having them listen to the teacher (passive-passivo/no se). Honest -- it's a "best practice" (and a busload of other buzzwords) in ESL/transitional classrooms.

Lots of K-6 teachers are being asked to take on a job for which they have little training, but which they want to do well. It's such a common situation that educational companies are now marketing full lesson plan kits for teachers who may have no language competency whatsoever. Here's one such product line:http://www.esl-images.com/

She's to be commended for finding a way to get these kids an education.

11/01/2005 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger ripley said...

fecking brilliant. go, your mom!

11/01/2005 11:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That woman is an inspiration. Go Mum!

- barista

11/02/2005 03:09:00 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

In Education, pragmatism should always be the first option, not administrative dictates. Go Aunt B's mom.

11/02/2005 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Yankee T said...

I heart your mom.

11/02/2005 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger the Professor said...

yeah, but with the routine school fire drills and all, I think that one is a more habituated and common worrisome hypothetical event.

11/02/2005 03:00:00 PM  

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