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Case
Posted on December 30, 2012 11:09 am
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Heather Blue
Heather Blue
Reps: 142
Hesitations to speak English
Miss Johnson enjoys teaching Kindergarten very much. Her love for children has allowed her to be a “natural” in the classroom. She has been so comfortable instructing Kindergarteners, that she has never felt unprepared for any situation that might occur in her daily classroom routines. Miss Johnson is confident in the reputation she has gained with her students and their parents. Miss Johnson started this particular school year with a few ESL (English as a Second Language) students in her classroom. Her self confidence did not waver as she carefully planned her lessons with these second language learners in mind. Miss Johnson continued to strengthen her teaching skills as she observed the progress of her students, including the ESL students who had become very much a part of the Kindergarten class. One certain ESL student, Rosa, was learning English at a slower rate than the other language learners. Miss Johnson attributed Rosa’s reluctance to speak the new language to her shyness and lack of confidence. Furthermore, Rosa’s parents had never responded to Miss Johnson’s notes and invitations. Miss Johnson decided to give the situation more time and not worry about rushing to conclusions. When February arrived, Miss Johnson sent home notes with her students informing parents about the upcoming Valentine’s Day Kindergarten party. She asked parents to send a shoebox to school in order for their children to decorate it, in preparation for the special day. The next day Miss Johnson’s eager students began bringing in their boxes. When Rosa presented a nicely wrapped box to Miss Johnson, the classroom grew silent. For the first time in her teaching career, Miss Johnson was not prepared for this moment. She asked Rosa if she should open the box. Rosa smiled and nodded for her teacher to unwrap the box. When Miss Johnson took off the bow and unwrapped the box, she realized that Rosa’s parents had not only wrapped the shoebox but had put something in it. Miss Johnson slowly opened the shoebox as everybody watched. Much to Miss Johnson’s surprise, the box contained a brand new pair of lady’s shoes. All of the Kindergarteners laughed, all except for Rosa.

Questions:
1. After observing Rosa’s hesitations to speak English, what approaches could Miss Johnson pursue to assess the situation?
2. What steps can Miss Johnson take to assure parental communication and involvement?
3. How could Miss Johnson make a pleasant learning situation out of the Valentine box event?
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted February 17, 2013 5:01 pm

Laura Goodwin
Laura Goodwin
Reps: 53
1. There are several things that Miss Johnson could do to assess the situation. The first would be to talk to Rosa herself. Miss Johnson could arrange a private meeting with her just to talk about how she is feeling in the classroom, etc. The next thing Miss Johnson should do is communicate with her parents. She needs to get in touch with Rosa's parents so that Miss Johnson can understand Rosa better and so she and Rosa's parents form a team to help Rosa succeed. I think it is also possible that Rosa might just not want to talk. I had a student in one of my classes who was an ELL student. She refused to talk when the teacher was around. In that case, it became an even more serious issue. This is why Miss Johnson must communicate with Rosa's parents so that she can truly gain an understanding of the situation instead of just waiting around to see what happens.

2. Miss Johnson might be assuming that Rosa's parents can speak English. Whatever Miss Johnson sends home she needs to send two versions: an English version and in this case, a Spanish version. If Miss Johnson were to do this it would increase Rosa's parents' ability for communication and involvement. She needs to assure them that they can also write back in whatever language they are comfortable (Miss Johnson can translate it via Rosa, on the computer, or by asking the ELL teacher at the school). Most of the time parents want to be involved, but sometimes they can't due to language barriers. Miss Johnson needs to be sensitive towards the situation and encourage responses no matter the language. That is a sure way to promote more parental involvement.

3. Miss Johnson needs to treat it like a gift in front of the students because that is the way that Rosa and her parents understood the assignment. The parents took the assignment literally. Miss Johnson should tell the class how wonderful it was that Rosa's parents sent shoes for her (Miss Johnson) as well as fulfulling the assignment. I am afraid that if Miss Johnson says that she only asked for an empty shoebox in front of the class then that will only continue to keep Rosa from talking. Miss Johnson should pull Rosa aside later, explain the situation and assure Rosa that the misunderstanding is completely her fault. She should then send a note home with the shoes to the parents (in two languages) explaining the situation to them and aplogizing for the confusion. Miss Johnson can learn from this situation to be more explicit with her directions so all cultures can understand clearly.
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Solution 2
Posted February 12, 2013 12:07 pm

C.C. Rohrer
C.C. Rohrer
Reps: 34
1. In this case, I would first ask Rosa if she was nervous about speaking English or if she even was interested in learning it? I feel like if the student trusts you, they will be able to give you a lot of information about the situation.
2. In the future, I believe Miss Johnson should have tried to contact the parents by phone as soon as she realized they were not responding to the letters she was sending home with Rosa. If this was not possible, she could try to set up a conference with an ESL teacher who could translate if the parents weren't able to understand English. Parent involvement is vital in a child's school success, and as a teacher it is your job to try to make the best of every circumstance.
3. Miss Johnson has now added something to her list of surprises. I think Miss Johnson should make it out like it was a Valentine's Day gift from Rosa to her in front of the students and then later work it out with Rosa and her parents. It was simply a miscommunication.
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Solution 3
Posted February 11, 2013 10:29 pm

Kandace Allen
Kandace Allen
Reps: 25
1. Miss. Johnson would need to have a meeting with Rosa about her hesitations. ESOL students tend to hesitate because they're scared they are doing something wrong and they don't want to be judged. She needs to assure Rosa that she will not be judged and that everyone is here to help her learn.
2. Miss. Johnson is doing a lot to try to get parent involvement but things are not working out for her. Ms. Johnson could have someone who is a translator call their house or visit their home. If the parents do not answer their phone she could even get a translator send a letter that is written so they can read it.
3. This is an example of miss communication, however Miss. Less could making a learning situation out of it by discussing with the class that everyone makes mistakes and that it's okay. Next time Miss. Lee will know that she needs to get the translator to send the note home.
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Solution 4
Posted February 11, 2013 3:08 pm

Mary Reynolds
Mary Reynolds
Reps: 22
1. I think that Miss Johnson should talk to Rosa about her "hesitations" to speak English. I have learned through my experience with ESL children that they don't want to abandon their culture, and their parents stress this as well. I think that this puts a lot of pressure on the children. If Miss Johnson sits down and talks to Rosa personally, she can find out what is holding her back.
2. I think that Miss Johnson is doing a lot to try to ensure parent involvement with Rosa's parents. However, because she hadn't heard back from them there is a problem communicating. The problem could be as simple as they don't speak or read English and they can't understand the notes that Miss Johnson is sending home. Miss Johnson could have a translator translate her letters and attach a Spanish copy to each note she sends home.
3. I think that Miss Johnson can make a pleasant learning experience not just to herself but to the whole class. That situation is a prime example of what a miss-communication is. Rosa's parents clearly thought that they were supposed to send in a box of shoes and not a shoe box. Miss Johnson should discuss with the children that everybody makes mistakes and you need to be clear with your thoughts so things can't get turned around.
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Solution 5
Posted February 17, 2013 9:14 pm

Rodnecia Walker
Rodnecia Walker
Reps: 22
1. Miss Johnson could educate herself on Rosa's culture. This may help her find other approaches to help Rosa with speaking English. The teacher could meet with the student privately and ask Rosa what issues she may be having, what emotions she may be feeling, and what you as a teacher can do to better assist her. Rosa should know that you have her best interest at heart. This can be done by showing her that you care. The teacher could bring in a resource teacher who speaks Rosa language. The teacher could assist Miss Johnson with some useful techniques and reasoning as to why Rosa may be progressing slower than the other students.

2. Miss Johnson never considered that the parents may not speak English. Many children translate for their parents. If Rosa is unable to translate for her parents, a translator should be selected to visit the home. Miss Johnson could accompany the translator to the home on one occasion, this may allow her to get a feeling of why Rosa may not want to speak English and is progressing slowly. This will also let the parents see that Miss Johnson cares, is taking the initiative and is acceptable of all cultures. Miss Johnson will learn from this experience and from now on can send home two versions of notes home to parents. One note in English, and another note in their native language. This will limit confusion.

3. Miss Johnson could thank Rosa for the gift, and when students are not around discuss what was mean't by the note then. The child should not feel embarrassed. Students should be told that laughter wasn't necessary and how thankful you were that Rosa and her parents put thought in getting you a gift. students could be taught that laughter will make Rosa feel worse and that it was all a form of miscommunication on your behalf.
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Solution 6
Posted February 17, 2013 8:22 pm

Margaret Lales
Margaret Lales
Reps: 30
1.Miss Johnson needs to set up a meeting with Rosa and start to get a better feel of her situation in order to help her. They need to have a safe and welcoming teacher student relationship in order for Rosa to open up with Miss Johnson. Miss Johnson needs to find out if Rosa is just shy or if she is truly struggling with English in the classroom since it is most likely not spoken a lot at home.

2. Miss Johnson also needs to set up a meeting with Rosa’s parents. She may need to have an interpreter involved to ensure Rosa’s parents fully understand her message about their daughter. Also, from then on out Miss Johnson needs to make sure her notes home to Rosa’s parents are written in their native language so they know exactly what they say.

3. Miss Johnson can turn this into a teachable moment by explaining that when you give instructions or a message to someone you want to make sure it is very clear so they know exactly what is expected of them. She can also explain that it is hurtful to be laughed at in a situation, and they need to put themselves in Rosa’s shoes and think how she feels when everyone laughed at her.
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Solution 7
Posted February 11, 2013 3:35 pm

Deja Jones
Deja Jones
Reps: 27
1. After Miss Johnson saw that Rosa was having hesitations speaking, she should have arranged an important meeting with her parents. Not just an invitation or a gathering, this is a "must happen" situation. With that one meeting, she could have noticed that Rosa's parents do not speak English either. After knowing this, she would have taken an even stronger approach to help Rosa.
2. The first thing, is to send home notifications in their native language. The reason why they were not responding is because they couldn't read it. I would also keep it short, simple and too they point. Our American "chit chat", does not translate well into other cultures.
3. Miss Johnson could gladly thank the student for her lovely gift but pull her to the side and let Rosa know that this is not exactly what she meant and for her to return the shoes to her parents. Explain to Rosa again what the purpose of the shoe box is for and make sure she understands. I would also send a note home to the parents to make sure that there is no sign of disrespect for not accepting the gift.
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Solution 8
Posted February 11, 2013 10:30 pm

Kandace Allen
Kandace Allen
Reps: 25
1. Miss. Johnson would need to have a meeting with Rosa about her hesitations. ESOL students tend to hesitate because they're scared they are doing something wrong and they don't want to be judged. She needs to assure Rosa that she will not be judged and that everyone is here to help her learn.
2. Miss. Johnson is doing a lot to try to get parent involvement but things are not working out for her. Ms. Johnson could have someone who is a translator call their house or visit their home. If the parents do not answer their phone she could even get a translator send a letter that is written so they can read it.
3. This is an example of miss communication, however Miss. Less could making a learning situation out of it by discussing with the class that everyone makes mistakes and that it's okay. Next time Miss. Lee will know that she needs to get the translator to send the note home.
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Solution 9
Posted February 12, 2013 1:39 pm

Claire Jenkins
Claire Jenkins
Reps: 25
1. After receiving no feedback from the notes sent home, Miss Johnson should have called home to help her understand why Rosa was so hesitant to speak English. Miss Johnson should have never given up after the parents did not respond. If she would have spoken to the parents she would have realized that they also did not speak English.
2. Miss Johnson can translate the notes so they it is written in both English and their native language. There are many translating websites available for use. She can ask if they work with her to help boost her motivation to speak English in the classroom.
3. After receiving the valentine's box, Miss Johnson could have taken Rosa aside and explained to her what materials she needed for that class. She then could send the shoes and a translated note home to the parents explaining exactly what she needed for class the next day.
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Solution 10
Posted February 12, 2013 6:44 pm

Mary Beth Brammar
Mary Beth Brammar
Reps: 30
1) I think Miss Johnson should have sat down with Rosa and discussed her fear. I also think she should do everything possible to make her feel comfortable in the classroom setting. It is important for children to feel like school is a safe learning environment. Miss Johnson should ask Rosa what would make her feel comfortable and how Rosa would like to get involved in the class.
2) I think Miss Johnson should contact the school counselor to seek help with contacting Rosa's parents. If the school has a translator Miss Johnson could use the translator to contact Rosa's parent to discuss various things and possibly set up a meeting.
3) Miss Johnson could have waited to open the gift later because she was aware that their could possibly be a language barrier with Rosa's parents and Rosa herself.Miss Johnson could make the comment that this is the best valentines day gift she has received in a while and thank Rosa for the gift.
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Solution 11
Posted February 13, 2013 10:52 pm

Melissa Sapp
Melissa Sapp
Reps: 29
1. Rosa may not be hesitant at all. She may in fact be trying her best. Students/children learn things at very different rates. The fact that Rosa is not catching on as quickly could be the result of many things such as, that she is only speaking English at school and does not practice the language else where. I think Miss Johnson should try to speak with her (maybe through an interpreter if necessary)to get tot the root of the problem.

2. It seems clear to me that Rosa's family is not very fluent in English. A simple solution would be to send all note home in English and Rosa's home language. There are computer programs that you can get that will convert documents for this purpose.

3. I would have a teachable moment about how easily things you say could be misinterpreted by others who may not understand you. Also a class reminder about how we should not laugh at others seems in order here.
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Solution 12
Posted February 28, 2013 8:54 am

Candice Williams
Candice Williams
Reps: 102
1. After observing Rosa’s hesitations to speak English, what approaches could Miss Johnson pursue to assess the situation?
I think the best step would be to speak with someone in administration about using a translator. This could help clear up many confusions, and answer any of Rosa's questions she may have.

2. What steps can Miss Johnson take to assure parental communication and involvement?
Trying to have the translator write a letter could be beneficial.

3. How could Miss Johnson make a pleasant learning situation out of the Valentine box event?
How different people interpret things differently.
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Solution 13
Posted September 28, 2015 12:39 pm

Sutede
Sutede
Reps: 101
1-Miss Johnson should take advantage of using the information provided on the Home Language Survey that was obtained upon Rosa's enrollment in school. Additionally, she should reach out to ESOL Resources and request that Rosa not only obtains additional support but that this support is on an ongoing basis daily.

2- As Miss Johnson has received no contact from Rosa's parents regarding her requests sent home, she needs to obtain assistance through ESOL Resources in successfully contacting and meeting with Rosa's parents. This could be a simple case of the parents as non-English speakers and they do not understand the letters and information sent home (as was apparent when Rosa presented Miss Johnson with the shoes).

3- Miss Johnson should not ignore the situation, but also should not overreact to the situation. She should thank Rosa for the gift and state something to the effect that she had been thinking about buying a new pair of shoes in just that same color and that Rosa's gift was so thoughtful. Sometime after the incidence, Miss Johnson can easily incorporate the miscommunication into a lesson.

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