Thank you Moms and teachers

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thank you so much for all of the wonderful words of wisdom and advice.  I knew that many wonderful teachers came by this site and I am so fortunate to draw from your wisdom and experience.  I am going to think of a way to thank you teachers (look for a giveaway for teachers only soon).   I spoke briefly with the vice principal on the phone yesterday (I have a fever and stomach virus so I cannot go up to the school).  She informed me that Harry's teacher is the ESL teacher for 3rd grade.  However, she also informed me that 11 of the kids are ESL and the rest are not (10 maybe).  So, perhaps Harry is exaggerating the ethnic diversity in his room?  I am not sure. She also told me that this particular teacher is the most requested teacher in the whole school. Parents BEG for her because she is so good and that she teaches to each individual child's ability. Harry said there are two children from China that do not know any English at all and need translation so that concerns me (as far as pace goes).  Harry seems to think that the work thus far is challenging and he likes the class a lot.  He does not want to switch classes.  The vice principal assured me that it was not a mistake and that this truly will be a great year for him.  He will be pulled out for gifted/talented one day a week.  She also said that if we feel it is not a good fit in a few weeks, she will talk to us again and look at switching him.  She was a bit surprised that I was asking questions because so many parents are upset that their children did not get into this particular class.

In talking with a few other parents at the school, they agreed that this is an amazing teacher and they would keep their child in the class.  The only parent that suggested moving him was the one who told me it was the ESL class to begin with and she had a negative experience with her child in a much younger ESL class.  

I will keep you updated once I talk to his teacher to see how this really works.  I know several of you were interested.  As a side note, our school is extremely diverse.  We live in the medical center area of a very large city.  Many physicians come here for internships, fellowship, research etc. from all over the world.  Harry has told me that the children in his class are from Poland, Russia, China, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia!  Two children in his class wear the traditional clothing that covers part of their face (according to Harry).  Many of the children in the ESL program are extremely bright children and are in the gifted program as well.  I am still concerned about the pace of the class but I am willing to take a "wait and see" approach.


Off to the ENT with Kate...what a week!

20 comments:

  1. I didn't get to post yesterday. I am so glad you spoke to someone at the school, that would have been my first suggestion. It sounds like everything will work out fine and since you are keeping up with things it would be very easy to tell if Harry wasn't being challenged enough. I hope Kate's appointment goes well. Keep us posted on how she does.

    Blessings,
    Robin

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  2. I didn't get to post yesterday. I am so glad you spoke to someone at the school, that would have been my first suggestion. It sounds like everything will work out fine and since you are keeping up with things it would be very easy to tell if Harry wasn't being challenged enough. I hope Kate's appointment goes well. Keep us posted on how she does.

    Blessings,
    Robin

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  3. I'm glad you got to talk to someone and have it better explained to you. Hopefully it will all work out well!

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  4. I have to commend you for be one fabulous parent. Believe me, I have seen my fair share of parents who don't care and it just breaks my heart. I think you did the right thing in asking questions at the school and even more...listening to their answers. It seems to me that your school is aware of the placement of your child. In addition is great that Harry is getting pulled out for a talented and gifted class and illustrates even more that they are aware of his abilities. I can totally see why you were concerned, rightfully so. The best thing you can do is exactly what you are doing... keeping a watch on the classroom learning styles and always supporting your sons needs. If you are worried, speak up! I always appreciate when parents come to me with any questions, that way we can work TOGETHER to create the best learning environment for their child. I hope everything works out! :)

    feel better :)

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  5. That is wonderful news! I'm glad it was "not a mistake" but indeed a blessing for Harry!

    I love the diversity of the school. This school sounds wonderful, Harry is getting a great education and a firsthand experience of learning about different cultures NOT by a textbook, but just entering the doors of the school!! How neat is that!!!

    Hope Kate's appt at the ENT have even greater news!!

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  6. I am so glad that you were able to speak to the administrator...obviously, this is a different program versus where I am in PA...possibly due to the high concentration of diverse cultures. Now that I know some background (the amazing teaching, etc) I believe you should have Harry try it out for a bit of time. If you see any frustrations or notice that he is no longer receiving adequate advanced instruction, then sit down (when you are all healthy!) and think about what would be best for him in the long run. I hope everything works out for the best. Harry sounds like a great kid! Hope you are feeling better soon. I slipped and ate bread due to missing it so bad and have been in such pain since-need to juice with extra ginger tonight!

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  7. I'm glad you got to speak with an administrator! It sounds like the ESL class is very different from anything I've ever seen. Hopefully Harry continues to feel challenged and you can keep him in the class to get all the cultural diversity. I like that the vice principal is willing to keep in contact with you and move Harry if you're still concerned in a few weeks. Please keep us posted!

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  8. I will be covering you in prayer for both Harry AND Kate! I can only imagine how difficult it must be to face the challenge of wondering if this is the best class for Harry, but I also think how neat it must be for him to experience so many cultures at once. I know the best will work out for your sweet family!

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  9. That is pretty much what I was thinking the class was. Im sure the pace will be fine especially if they have other GATE kids. He will be fine and I am sure he will be appropriatly enriched.

    Good luck

    Christy

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  10. Is the ESL class an English class? I'd just keep an eye on the curriculum and make sure he's moving at a good pace. You just hate to see them get bored with school when they have so many more years to attend.
    Good luck.

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  11. Good news !!as I told you , I am sure Harry will have a great school year and as a teacher I am quite sure that the knowledge exchange they will get will be very nice to Harry skills and development, fellowship,different cultures.Sure it will be a challenge!!!

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  12. I'm glad you feel a little bit better about the whole situation -- and it sounds like this teacher is great. Like I said before, if Harry is happy then that's wonderful. It can make or break a situation if the kids aren't happy! And if the teacher really does differentiate for each student, he will be challenged but will learn about all the other cultures at the same time -- how wonderful for him and his future!

    Just like Llama said, I commend you for being so involved in your children's education. They are so luck to have you as their mother -- your value for education and their well-being will transfer to them and will make a huge difference in their achievement (not just on tests... in life!)

    Hope you are feeling better and that the ENT appointment went well.

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  13. I hope you made out well at the ENT!

    Just read the post and I wish you the utmost wisdom in dealing with this situation! You are so sweet about the teacher giveaway...there is no need for that! We love helping out - just like you help us out with the supplements, juicer, books, etc.

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  14. Hi Kim!! I didn't get a chance to post yesterday, but I just wanted to throw in my 'two cents.' I read the post yesterday and most of the comments, and I think might have been confused by the wording. It sounds like Harry isn't in an 'ESL class' but just a very diverse classroom and they have lumped a lot of those students together for better assistance. Often times schools will lump students together who need certain services-for example the two students that are needing translation. They are probably getting picked up by other resource teachers throughout the day and getting one on one or small group help in reading and writing. Most math skills can translate throughout languages. In my experience too they will often clump some of the toughest (i.e. needing the most intervention) with the most skilled teachers in that grade level. It looks like Harry ended up with a great teacher (or they wouldn't have all the needer kids in her class). My guess is once the school year gets rolling, many of thos children will either be pulled out or assistance will be brought in for the language arts block. Most of those programs don't start up until the teacher has established the classroom routine and all. I think you did a great thing by calling and asking. I also think that children can learn so much by being models, leaders, and encouraging their peers. Harry will probably really enjoy helping these kids and learning with them. It sounds like he is going to get the support he needs by being pulled out for the gifted resources. I don't know if I made any sense, but I just wanted to tell you what I thought!! Hope the transition for Will is going well too!! XO, Clare

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  15. I know you will do what is best for your son :)

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  16. Anytime! I might not have kids of my own, but when it comes to school and especially ELLs, I know a LOT!

    Are you feeling better yet???

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  17. It sounds as if this teacher excels at differentiating - in other words, she assesses children where they are and can meet the needs of each individual student, regardless of skill level. Some teachers are just plain good at this.

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  18. Kim - He will be great. I'm teaching kindergarten in the city this year (Jackson-Via) and the majority of my class is ESL. I have a few who speak no English at all, we have Arabic, Swahili, Kwai Kwai and some other languages I don't recognize. The classes are not slowed down due to ESL, the children pick up English quickly - it's just a matter of differentiation. I see no reason why he wouldn't be challenged in an ESL class. And I know Harry, he'll make sure he's challenged. :) - Best, Miss Kristi

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  19. Kim - I have read over the last few posts and cheers to you for going to bat for your son. In my school ESL is a push in (ESL teachers comes into the classroom) AND push out (ESL kids go to their own "classroom" for mini English lessons). My first year teaching I was the ESL cluster teacher - that meant that I had all the ESL kids in my class (although there were only about 5 of them). Since it seems like Harry's teacher is thought of very highly then maybe give it a try in his current class. For the students that don't speak any English they may have a translator/aide that will work one on one with those specific kids, so that the classroom teacher's time is not spent keeping them up with the class.

    From what you have mentioned about Harry, he is probably a wonderful role model to not only the ESL students, but to all his peers. However, I am in agreement with you - HIS education and success are paramount to you:)

    Blessings that all will work out - with Harry and Kate too, Ashley

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  20. Glad that everyone is on the mend. Will be praying for you guys! Take care of yourself and get plenty of rest too, so you don't become a patient!

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Thank you for your kindness.