Second Day of School 11:33 a.m. 2005-08-16

Day Two of the school year. I made it through yesterday, assigning personal narratives to my students, and then deciding who needed to move on from my class. I teach ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages), and sometimes people who don't belong in ESOL are sent to my classroom.

Yesterday, I had two students who are basically American boys - often, when a parent comes in speaking Spanish, the automatic response is to place that child in ESOL - even if the child has always resided in the U.S. (usually California or Texas). Then, it's up to me to do some detective work and eliminate them from my class.

Then, there are the hangers-on: those students who never plan to place out of ESOL, thinking that it is an educational track that you stay in until you graduate high school. They have often been here for 7 years, and are acting translators for their whole family. They just can't (or won't) pass the LAB test used to diagnose students. I sent 5 to 8 of those out - three of them kicking and screaming.

I feel badly, because I don't want them to think I don't love them. It's just that this year, things are different. We are using the Spring scores to determine placement, instead of testing again in the fall. So, instead of lingering about a week, while they are placed and divided up (not an issue of levels now, as I am teaching the 8th graders, and my colleague has the 7th graders!), they need to start their new lives and schedules ASAP.

Other than that, things are going well. In our new block schedule, there are 5 periods instead of 8, and I have the 3rd block for planning. Which means that I have a break in the middle of the day. Then, I take my 4th period students to lunch at 12:10 to 12:30 - which is all very civilized.

I just realized that I need to balance my checkbook. I will write more later!

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