Traveling on the Wayback Machine…
Maria was my student who always struggled in school. Teachers agreed that she had ADHD. I did too. I couldn’t help myself, but fall in love with an ESOL student who got all E’s and was retained. I researched the situation, no kidding. She never read. Say what?
“I want to teach you how to read!!!” No answer. “Now look. We’re friends. You tell me stories about your family’s emigration to the US. Your parents want you to get a good education!!!” No answer, times 10.
As half of school year passed, we got even closer. She admitted that she was hungry after school. What did I do? What every teacher does, I dipped into my own money for my kids. A new approach, “Ready to start reading? That’s what we’re going to do. No one is here so we’ll have privacy.” You guessed it…nothing.
SHAZAM…I assigned the biography project from my student teaching days. It was a self-contained class…only kids with IEPs. I was sure that my inclusion class would be successful. My “regular” and special ed kids were ready for a multimedia project. Maria did nothing! “This is enough. Why didn’t you do the project?” Finally…”There isn’t anyone who is modern. No Hispanics.” OMG…a break in the stalemate.
I dashed to the Media Center Specialist who ordered books right away. You know how it is…administration stepped in. A group of teachers had to approve them. “Say what?” I read all 5 in a day. “Here’s the 411. Drugs, gangs, violence…everything that they see now.” Everyone agreed to let the books in. Maria read every book. So what is the moral of the story?
Hispanic students connect culturally relevant material to their own experiences. (RESEARCH)