When I first met the teacher, Blanca (who wasn’t at our big group meeting with the other teachers and the director), I understood her to say that she wanted to make attendance voluntary.
When we arrived yesterday, she had selected 12 students (although I’d requested a maximum of 8. After the session she told me she’d selected the students who needed the most help with reading. (Two of them don’t read yet, per Blanca. Per my observation, the others can read phonetically, but have very low reading comprehension.)
The children were entertained by the first story we read, but then clamored to read themselves: choosing books, reading out loud to one another or to themselves.
We didn’t want to discourage their interest in reading. But because they are ALL beginning readers and because there were 12 of them and two of us, their interest quickly dissipated.
In talking with Blanca afterwards, I got the impression that she very much wants help with aiding these students who are behind their peers.
Although we sympathize with her workload as a teacher, we don’t feel qualified (either in pedagogy or in Spanish) to be of much help.
Therefore, our plan for next week is that we will do guided reading, with practice in listening and comprehension, for 2groups of 6 for approx. 30 minutes each. I will explain to Blanca that we don’t feel qualified to do more than this.
I think there might be a lack of understanding on Blanca’s (and maybe other teachers,?) part of the goal of the reading program. They might see it as equivalent to the remedial math teaching that Debbie Dagoli has done for several years. A big difference is that Debbie is an educator who also speaks excellent Spanish. Naturally, the overloaded teachers might hope that we readers are other
Debbie’s. But she’s a hard act to follow.
We want others of you to know that these expectations might be placed on you, too. And you might need to clarify how you’re able to help.
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