Monday, September 19, 2005

Gardner lists eight types of intelligence, and I don't have a single one

Went to tutoring at W Elementary today. Small group activities, free choice stations with partners: a bit more less orderly than last week. Two new students: one refugee from Hurrican Katrina, one Mexican student with not a word of English. Something bothered me today at W: while all the other children moved from station to station doing activities, the new Mexican kid with no English was allowed to just sit and draw. Soon, two other Mexican-American students, both of whom could speak English, were sitting with him drawing as well. Couldn't Nino Nuevo have done picture cards or practiced writing or been given some number sorting, something rather than just draw? I saw this seven year old and I thought, if this keeps up, in a few years this kid's going to think school's not for him, there are no expectations, he's not there to learn or be taught. I didn't think I had the authority to sit with him and focus on some simple morphemes, or I would have. Instead, I made the rounds, helping others.

I'm not saying W is a poor school or Ms. D is a neglectful teacher (she works very hard and has her hands full). I'm just noting how early the tracking and the low expectations start.

After tutoring, The Job. CF vomited at afternoon activity, all over one of my number cards. Lovely.

After work, mandatory staff meeting on safety tips. Fire, terrorist attack, intruder, tornado, bomb threat, etc. etc. Whatever; they all boil down to: evacuate and call 911.

Studied all day Sunday. Studying continues now.

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