Nearing the end …

… of term, that is.

We’re testing now and about to have eval conferences.  Who’s sailing to the next level with no trouble? … Well, I’m still not sure.  A student like Tom who could be teaching college-level math with not the slightest falter clearly doesn’t belong in a math class with any of the rest of my students (or even with me!).  But his writing and reading comprehension levels are only barely at the class minimum.  But his issues in those areas are about English proficiency.  He’s been in this country less than a year and there are no linguistic or orthographic similarities that I know of between English and Chinese.  Of course he has trouble with reading and writing in English.  It seems unfair to keep him in my class, but seems just as unfair to promote him.

I was afraid that all my ESOL crowd would leave me with the same question, but it’s not true.  Leila clearly needs to be in a high-level English class before continuing with Pre-GED.  And she realizes it and is going to switch to English class for the summer.  Jamila is fairly strong.  I wish she would talk more, but her writing, reading and math put her in the next level.  Josefina, like Tom, is a puzzle for me.  Her comprehension of spoken English is excellent.  (Ok, there are some ‘areas for improvement’ such as the time I said my hair was ‘kinky’ and she was all shocked and scandalized because the only meaning she knows for that word has nothing to do with my nappy head!)  Her math is probably good enough for the next level.  Probably.  If the only thing J___ needs is for her to have a handle on fractions and decimals, she might skate through.  But her writing.  There she has a problem.

Also, I worry that the second level students will tear her apart.  They aren’t awful kids — some of them were my kids last term, of course — but they’re so very much different from Josefina, unable to look past her differences — Mexican teen goth girl, lisp, general nerdiness, mild social awkwardness, bisexual … the list goes on and on.

But I can’t hold her back because I don’t want her feelings hurt.  So I think I have to let her go.  And hope for the best.


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