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Sunday, April 14, 2013

That's right -- No habla Espanol

I've recently heard something very disturbing from several sources at more than one school here in Dallas.  It involves an alleged change being made to the way the dual language program is run.

For anyone not familiar, the dual language program is the other side of the coin from the general education program.  And much like the word "Bilingual" in the district has come to mean "Spanish-speaking" (even if that's the ONLY language the kid can speak), the dual language program is for Spanish speakers only.

The way the program is designed to work, a student receives half of his instruction in English and half in Spanish.  For certain subjects -- math and English language arts -- the teacher is not supposed to give instruction in Spanish at all. Not even to assist lower language-savvy kids.

I was a dual language teacher for several years before being moved up a grade and back to the general education side this year.  I of course taught the English side, which included math.  I went to multiple trainings where I was instructed quite clearly and strictly NOT to speak any Spanish during instruction.  Bathroom breaks, recess, greetings in the morning, etc could be in Spanish on certain days, but during instructional times, English only.

Not a problem for someone like me, who doesn't speak much Spanish beyond numbers, colors, expletives.  In fact, you might say someone like me is ideally suited to teach that part of the dual language program, while a bilingual teacher would be ideally suited to teach the Spanish portion.

Not so much, the department in charge has apparently decided.  From what I'm hearing, they now want a bilingual-certified teacher for BOTH parts of the dual language program.I'm not sure of the reasoning, but it seems to me that dual language math teachers will now be REQUIRED to hold a certification that they will be BANNED from using.  Hey, you have to be able to speak Spanish to teach this class, but you're not allowed to speak Spanish while teaching this class.

Why don't we require all nuns to have breast implants while we're at it?

This proposed (already decided?) change will not only remove several people I know from positions they love, it will also naturally decrease the positions available to them.

If you ask me, I think it's a whole load of caca.