Thursday, January 13, 2011

Breaking the Barrier - For One Moment

As hard as it is sometimes to break through cultural barriers, I had a bitter-sweet moment today. I have a student who moved from Mexico at the start of this school year, with no previous English instruction nor exposure. He was 17 years old.

He quickly disappeared off of our radar - never coming to classes and not answering the door when home visits were attempted.

One day, he came back to his classes. His Counselor immediately pulled him out of his class to discuss his attending Adult Education (he was days away from turning 18). The student never came back. Until today.

While the conversation below may seem very one-sided, what is missing is the fact that this student began to cry as I typed my words in English and he read them in Spanish. He was able to clearly say one thing to me in broken English "Thank you, Ms. Calhoon. No one speak my language to me, but you."

The last statement was written by the student as he was "proving" to me that he was, in fact, going to continue with Adult Education.