Wednesday, March 15, 2006

School Observations/Language Issues

The other day while waiting for my son Matthew at school I saw a class walking off the playground in line like school kids are told to do - not sure why we are forced to adhere to this over the years when in real life the only lines one waits in are not quiet. Grocery store, post office, DMV, any county or State office like SSI, Social services requires a wait in a line.

Anyway, back to the class in line - it was a Tuesday which is an early dismissal here in Los Angeles so Teachers can attend meetings. So they were probably coming from recess after lunch. What I observed was the teacher speaking to the students in Spanish.

This bugs me so much and is something I have observed at another Elementary school where my older son attends. I see aides taking kids to the bus speaking all the time in Spanish. Aides converse back and forth with each other in matt's class in Spanish.

One time I attended an event at the other school where one teacher did her entire presentation in Spanish. There are functions at the school where the Principal says something and then the translator repeats I suppose what she said to the spanish speaking parents. By the time they get back to the English I forget what she had just said!

I go to seminars where the translation team is there with headphones for the spanish language attendees and then those who only speak English get a pair so that at the end when a question is asked we can follow along. This should be standard procedure throughout the school district.

There are parents that attend IEP meetings with a translator to tell them what is going on. I cannot imagine being at a meeting for one of mychildren and not being able to follow along what the teacher and therapists are saying. That would be an incentive to learn the Language, you would think!

Both schools even have free classes on site for parents to learn the language. At a back to school nite to meet the teacher when Nick was in the third grade they had to get a student to translate for families. The teacher and Principal did not speak Spanish. At this school for all the functions they sell soda and nachos.

After seeing the teacher converse in Spanish to the studebnts I went to the office to make them aware of what I witnessed, yet upon entering I came upon a teacher speaking Spanish to two office personnel - so I walked out and considered calling the District, but why bother?

The other day I saw someone who worked at Matt's school eating something while walking across the grass and dropped the wrapper to their food right there. Children run all around the grounds with no supervision in the morning or afternoons.

The bus drivers at both schools stand around before school gets out smoking their cigarettes and you never see one window open in the bus. They are rude and mean to kids. I have seen this for eight years now. My kids will never take a bus to school and Matt would have an aide with him but I can easily take him to school.

I wrote on my site about what happens Before The Bell Rings. It is a wakeup call for parents whose children ride the bus. The way the aides treat special needs kids is uncalled for. The one aide at Matt's school has an attitude problem. I have seen her tell the boys to sit still and keep hands away from one another, while the rest of the school population is having fun running around playing. This one boy was crying and she was ignoring him. What goes around comes around and she is now pregnant, so maybe her attitude will change in time.

There is no friendly acknowledgement or greeting upon arrival. They stand around speaking Spanish to one another and just tell kids what to do. It is always negative and nothing pleasant or uplifting for the kids to hear.

I am at the point where I am contemplating whether it is best to have an inept aide or no aide at all. Time for dinner in my house.

Until next time - check out my site, and feel free to post on the forum or leave a comment here.

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