Sunday, November 20, 2005

Parent - Teacher Night

Nothing reminds you more of your maternal status than Parent-Teacher Conferences. Children in the hallways say "Hi MapucheRican's mother" instead of anything resembling your name. You sit with teachers and administrators and try to act the part when most of the time you don't feel the part.

I feel lucky this year. La Mapu has a teacher that I really love. This year is the first time la Mapu will be taking those horrible stupid high stakes state standardized tests. Her teacher does not teach for the test, in fact the actual test prep has been minimal with a greater focus on the skills and ideas that school should be teaching. When I sat in on the class on Monday morning I was happy to see that the teacher really has an interdisciplinary approach and was reading with a class a book about a Rican girl whose teacher wanted to change her name to make it easier for everyone to pronounce (something my daughter can relate to).

But it is hard not to notice the fact that throughout the day students labeled as requiring special services, including English as a Second Language (ESL) and speech service, are pulled out of the main classroom once, twice, three times a day. It doesn't seem to matter if what is happening in the classroom is important. These students are not given the notes or information later. I know because my child was one of those children. In first grade she was labeled as requiring ESL services because her last name was Latino and because she couldn't read. Because she was missing so much of what was happening in the main classroom the school was threatening to leave her back and yet the school told me there was no way to get her out of this "pull out" ESL program even though she didn't need it. She had test out of the program at the end of the school year. Based on my own personal experience I have to say that I doubt the efficacy of such pull out program and wonder what a push in program would look like.

That said, la MapucheRican is doing well in school with the exception of one subject: Writing. Ah the irony of all ironies is that the writer's daughter hates writing.


Blogger ebony said...

It's a curse. My daughter does not enjoy writing as much as I had hoped so I obsess over her writing as neatly as possible at least. Even if she hates writing at least it will be neat.

11/22/2005 02:20:00 PM  

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