Monday, September 15, 2014

Bilingualism: The System Doesn't Meet The Needs!!!

Bilingual teachers should never have been riffed as Bilingual Teachers ARE Special Education Teachers!  In this day and age, with the influx of immigrants flooding our country, the "system no longer meets the needs!" We have lots of "willing learners" but not enough bilingual teachers to communicate with them! The system, taking federal funding from No Child Left Behind, and using it towards other means is nothing less than a crime!

As I "surfed the internet", looking for links and quotes to use in my blog, I've discovered many laid off teachers are no longer "blogging" about their experiences. I'd assume it is either because they wish to remain "employable" and are fearful there will be ramifications if they express their true feelings on how their new state of unemployment has affected them, or they are over being educators, have given up, and "moved on" other professions. Or, perhaps they are just "nice people", co-dependents, who don't want to stir up trouble, decidedly submitted to their employers' decisions, and hoping for the best.

Although I see myself in nearly all  these assumptions, I have realized over my past 14 months of "silence" that I can't merely sit back and do nothing anymore! While I have appeased myself by keeping busy in other venues, I still "feel like" a teacher and I'm still a "child magnet", attracting young learners everywhere I go!  How can I be otherwise as this is what I did for 21 consecutive years before being laid off due to California State budget cuts?

I Have Kept Silent Too Long!
It is not my own selfish ambitions driving me to keep posting my thoughts, Yes, I admit, I have been wronged and would love to see justice. But, I blog for the thousands of ELL students across our nation who have been affected by teacher layoffs and for the children on Catalina Island, a place I once called "home." Let's face it, immigrant children coming to a new country speaking their native tongue need good bilingual teachers to help them assimilate into our public education system. They need bilingual teachers to both calm their fears and help them learn English to prepare them for successful futures in America. How can they rise above jobs of blue collar workers if they can't effectively communicate with their customers? What chance do they have to succeed in "American" life without English? Who will speak for these children?

I am not advocating for or against the thousands of immigrants flooding our borders everyday. But, I am advocating for the immigrant children who are pulled from their homeland, tossed into our public school system, and expected to assimilate into our culture. These children need bilingual teachers, "language specialists" with BCLAD certificates they can talk to. And, I know for a fact they will listen when a blonde-haired, blue eyed Spanish speaker like me tells them, "When I was in school, I learned how to speak Spanish, so you can learn how to speak English too!" 

1 comment:

  1. Here in Texas, we see a lot of immigrants, especially Hispanic. The school age children need to learn English, because what I have observed is this(now, I'm only saying the mom, since that's all I've seen). The kids and their mom are out somewhere, and the child knows some English, that child is relied upon to speak for the mom. What I mean is, at the pharmacy, a young boy had to be the interpreter, translating the words from pharmacist to mom and the reverse. Or the mom needs to know what time is the next bus, so the child has to ask someone. I'm sure this has happened multiple times. There are places that habla Espanol of course. But English still has to be taught