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SportingKC SportingKC is offline
 
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Families
Old 07-22-2013, 07:49 PM
 
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So, I'm sure this is a vent, but after a post that I just read and responded to on another board, I'm a bit irritated.

How do you get your teachers to buy into the fact that you need to do your best to communicate with parents in their native language if possible?

I feel like with common languages (especially Spanish, French, German) there are enough resources available that teachers shouldn't be so resistant.

Ugh. This is a pet peeve of mine.


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MissESL MissESL is offline
 
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Agree!
Old 07-23-2013, 11:40 AM
 
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I read that post, but it really just upset me, and it made me want to get on my soapbox. I decided to walk away instead!

I feel that an important part of teaching is in giving each student the optimal opportunity to learn. How is it equitable if Joey can understand the directions, but Joaquin can't? Because when Josquin comes to school in the morning with an unfinished paper, he will be punished for something not within his control.

I work hard to make my teachers see the importance of translating materials OR differentiating them according to what the WiDA can do descriptors say the student should be able to do at their given level. It is nearly impossible to get my teachers to do it! I tell them to give me assignments a day ahead, so I can translate directions OR preview it with the student. I tell them Google translate is the best translator I've found if they want to try it, even down to giving them tips on using it effectively. Mostly, I spend a lot of time trying to persuade teachers not to fail ELZl students, and actively asking for papers on Mondays (team meeting day) so at least calendars and parent letters are translated.

It is a never ending battle and I wish I knew a better solution than nag nag nag!! :-/
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:03 PM
 
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I have to respond to this...maybe I shouldn't. I am sure most teachers want to do their best to meet the needs of all students in the classroom, but there really are not enough hours in the day. It sounds like you two are support for ESL students in the regular classroom and are unhappy with the regular ed teacher. I am a regular education teacher. Do you know how many "needs" there are in my class? Special education needs of varying types and degrees, ESL students that have 4 different home languages, gifted students, low students, economically disadvantaged students, students who have a terminally ill family member, students who slept in a car the night before, and on and on. Add on learning common core standards, creating differentiated lesson plans based on the yearly changing district requirements, and a new teacher evaluation system that requires unending documentation. There has to be time for weekly lesson plans using a new format, planning learning stations, programming the computer programs for each child's needs and a weekly newsletter. I think that if these teachers are not coming to you with the forms to translate, then perhaps you need to go to them to see if you can help.

I realize that good teachers do all of these things plus more. I am not upset with the other posters here, but I am tired of people expecting so much out of the hours that I work and never having enough time to really do anything like it should be done. I think there needs to be more support for regular teachers rather than more requirements from them. When am I supposed to actually teach the students?
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:03 PM
 
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The issues you mention are not only "regular" teacher issues. They're the issues every single teacher deals woth, only we have the expectation of translation to our pile. That's not to say its more or less than your pile, but it certainly is incorrect to assume that since we may pull out students, we don't have the issues you mentioned above.

Last school year, I saw a total of 50 students daily, for 30-60 minutes depending on their English proficiency. I had a couple who were classified as homeless, a handful of backpack meal recipients, one pair of cousins whose families shared a trailer, two BD kids, 6 IEPs, and six different languages at all different levels of profiency. They CAME from "regular" classrooms, so their home room teachers and I were handling the same issues! :-) In my position, in this particular...climate...I am the only advocate these students (and their folks) have, an unintended designation I take seriously!!!

I think it is just a difference of opinion in what we feel is best for the students we teach. Not that one is better or worse, just a difference of opinion. :-) It is obvious we all have the best interests of our students in mind, in our ways. Thank you for contributing to the conversation. :-)
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