Meanwhile, back at the ranch …

So here’s how the whole end-of-term thing went down:

Jorge and Haila are on to the next level, no problem. Jamila is ready to move, too, but I asked her to come over the summer to keep working on her English. She’s going home (to Bangladesh) for August, so she’ll just be in class for July. Desirée is mostly ready. I gave her the option of staying in our class over the summer to work on her reading comprehension, and she agreed. For the moment, Leila has opted to go to the English class, but she might switch back to our group before summer’s end.

Then there are the tricker ones. Tom is ready for the next level … except for his writing. We talked about it in our end-of-term conference. He knows his writing is weak and really wants to work on it before moving on, but he has to work “full time” over the summer. I put that in quotes because at Tom’s job it means a twelve to fifteen-hour shift, means he can’t come to school in the summer. He and I are going to try to work on his writing long distance, but I’m not sure how that’ll go when he has no steady internet access. I’m still making a plan.

Josefina is on the cusp of being ready. She’s going to be in class over the summer, but I’m not sure she’ll be ready to move in September. I’m holding my breath for her.

Haidar ought to be ready to move, even with his spotty attendance. But I have so little concrete work from him to support that theory, and he didn’t do well on one of his tests. I had him retest, and he improved but not much. I’m asking him to come to class in the summer, but I won’t be too shocked if he doesn’t show.

And then there’s Jackie. Jackie isn’t ready to move. Really not ready. And that surprises me. She worked hard this term, despite being briefly homeless, despite a bad go-round with her boyfriend, despite her mom winding up in the hospital in the last weeks of term. And her hard work shows. She improved in all areas … just not enough. So yes, she’ll be with me over the summer, but I think she may need to be with me in September, too, and that worries me. My worry goes back to something I wrote before about ‘momentum promotion’ and the need these kids have to see that they’re making progress. Staying in my class for the summer is very different from still being in my class come fall. At the same time, I wouldn’t want to see her move up and find the work so hard that she gets discouraged and drops. She’ll be a delicate one for me, a hard decision.

It’ll be interesting to see which of my continuing students really come and stay for the summer. And that’s because students tend to see ‘continuing’ as equivalent to ‘left back.’ It’s poisonous news that often derails them.

And I’m not helping the situation by not being there at all this week, the first week of class.  Because I have T___ staying with me all week, S___ is taking my class. So my students showed up for class Tuesday to find that I hadn’t bothered to come, that I had something more important to do. Not the message I want to send. [sigh]


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