Claire reflects on her seminal document:
… I paved this road and I am shouting at my friends to get on it and none are listening….
[ed. note: that is not going to happen here – only people who want to continue the broken status quo will avoid doing the deep reflection that this document deserves.]
…[this document] was hard-fought and I tried saying that today and heard the usual crickets when I mention anything ESL…[ed. note: again, we are building a bridge between the best of ESL and the best of TPRS – the bridge is being made of assessment bricks – so let’s not blow that by inattention.]
…this is not a document that any other ESL teacher has and TPRS is not a method many other ESL teachers use….[ed. note: we can change that now.]
…I weeded through 14 pages of academic language performance indicators to find only maybe 10% that apply to Basic Interpersonal Conversational Speech….
…it took research to arrive at how I wanted my curriculum to look and the courage to do a less-is-more curriculum….
…all that was a lot of work, and and for 11 students, only 11 Newcomers in my class….
…last January my principal tried to change my schedule to shove those eleven Newcomers right where every other ESL teacher in our country shoves them: in a CBI class that’s too hard for them and we know it….
…these Newcomers are ignored, Ben! They go home where they may not have their parents with them or even be completely unaccompanied minors and their ESL teachers think it’s okay that they spend 8 hours a day failing tests, feeling stupid, and having no meaning communication with adults….
…so I showed [my principal] my Scope and Sequence for BICS, and contrasted it with the Academic English Scope and Sequence that took even longer to write. And he knew I wasn’t backing down….
…I was getting my Newcomers back or he would never hear the end of it. And I got it. For 11 of my 60 kids….
…it’s not just 11 kids now….