I love teaching ELs. Light bulb moments. Wrestling through tough questions. Using the right word in the right spot.
But ELs, dare I say all students, need more than just the academic whiz of their teachers.
They also need to be known. To spend time speaking socially with their teachers. To be heard.
It’s hard to find times like that, but some of our teachers are taking one lunch a week, a month to spend personal time with a handful of students.
Johanna did this a couple weeks ago. One of her girls had brought some Combos, a treasured treat, and declared her loyalty to Johanna by offering to give her some. What a statement! Combos were shared with all the students, but little did Johanna know that some had never had such a delicacy. This was evidenced when she noticed one student eating all the pretzel around the Combo but not the center. He didn’t know because he’d never had one.
This makes me reflect hard on how many other things we assume our students know, assume they’ve experienced. Many of our kiddos have never lived in a house (many trailers represented here), visited a museum, gone on vacation. Yet how many questions on our standardized tests deal with similarly familiar events? How biased are those tests, really?
Chew on a couple Combos before you answer those questions.