As regular readers here know, Tina is having quite the year. Strongly attacked by traditional colleagues at the high school level, to which her middle schools students must matriculate and then be met with a the equivalent of Beethoven’s 9th symphony but in the form of grammar, Tina met those attacks with courage. Some of us know the wilting feeling in the face of such attacks. That was then. This letter from a parent to Tina and cc’d in to her supervisor shows us how she stands now, just a month later:
I’m a bit late in sending this email but I wanted to contact you to let you know how impressed I was in Ethan’s Spanish progress after meeting with you at conferences. I was thrilled to see his clear understanding of both the spoken and written language in such a short time. In addition, although you don’t have the kids speaking much Spanish currently, when I asked Ethan to say a sentence or two for me he did it with ease and confidence. I was blown away. Our older son, William, attended [an elite] school in Portland for his middle school and with their very strong language program I don’t think that he was even as far along as Ethan is in such a short period of time. This is something to be very proud about Ms. Hargaden. We spent a lot of money on William’s education and to see your program, at the public school level, is very refreshing. I know that to some your teaching style may be unconventional (ie. no homework or speaking much at this time) but I see it as a success and with most kids struggling to learn a second language at an older age it is fantastic to see kids excited for their language class because of how you interact with them and teach them. I am excited to see just how much Ethan will learn from your approach in the two years that he will have with you and I know that you will have him highly prepared for Spanish at the high school level.
[name of parent; names of children have been changed]