Saturday, April 26, 2014

Time for a Change....

Not sure how I like my new blog look - I had noticed that the header hadn't appeared for awhile and finally realized it was because my free design that I loved was no longer "free."  So....this might be permanent or it might move on! LOL  I spent hours last Sunday trying to figure out HTML and do a blog roll (to no success)....and I miss my 3 columns :(  It's going to be an ongoing process, though.

However, that is not the change I mentioned in the title. 

This is about a change that my state needs to make for ESL/ELL students.  This year, one of my parents adopted 3 Ukrainian boys (brothers) and, along with their biological child, one of them is my student.  I simply love both of these boys!  "N" has really taken a shine to English and tries his hardest.  Math is his favorite subject and he caught onto English numbers very quickly.  I mean, I had NO idea that Ukrainian numbers were so very different!  He's been like a sponge this year and just absorbs everything!  He has struggled with the language and obviously, reading.  Still, he always has a smile on his face and his personality, like his spoken English, is really starting to shine.

"N" has an older brother in fourth grade and a younger brother in first that came with him.  They are not doing quite as well as "N."  My parent has been very perplexed this year at the lack of services that these boys have received.  We are a small county with a low ELL population, mostly hispanic, and many of the parents of these students do not speak English either.  I think that's why in this case, I realized how little we do for these students!  They are one of the most undersupported groups in our district!  The more I have discovered with this parent, the more brick walls she has hit, the angrier I have gotten.  I mean, everyone has a right to a free and public education, right?  Because this parent has vocally avocated for these boys and the lack of services, she's been treated poorly (in my opinion). 

Is it because I am also a parent of a child who I have had to advocate for in the past, to make sure his IEP accommodations are being met, that he is not ridiculed or bullied?  I don't know.  Maybe it gives me more sympathy.  However, I still don't think it's right.  We, as parents, are our child's best supporters and they look to us to not only keep them safe, but to fight for equality.

On that note, please consider checking out my parent's petition to increase services in our state for ELL/ESL students.  Please share it with others.  I'm hoping her voice and efforts will help make a difference!
Increase ESL student/teacher ratios for ESL & ELL students. Require schools to have ESL instructional plans in place with guidelines for instructional time based on LEP Levels.


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