Monday, February 23, 2009
I'll be interrupting my life of leisure for seven days of work this week and next. After agreeing to it several months ago, I'm now finding that actually doing it is cramping my style. Oh well, I shouldn't complain. Right now lots of people are desperate to find any work at all. I will be administering the English Language speaking portion of the Washington Language Proficiency Assessment to ELL students at my local elementary school, the same school I retired from three and a half years ago. I have come back to do this testing each year since I retired. This assessment is done one-to-one for all of the qualifying students K - 6th grade. While Spanish is now the most common second language, we have a wide range of other languages. Immigrants from every place in the world that has created refugees are likely to show up in our district. I started today with kindergarten kids, coaxing them to talk to a perfect stranger in a language they aren't all that proficient in. It was a challenge, but fun so far. I will get tired of saying the same thing over and over again by the 150th student. I also am enjoying catching up with the staff members that remain with whom I previously worked. The school has gone through a lot of changes in staff in the last four years, with major changes yet to come. This is the last year for this building. The students and staff will move to a temporary site while this building is torn down and a new structure rises from the rubble. There will be a new principal. And the kids with special needs keep pouring in. Special blessings should be bestowed on public school teachers. They have an impossible job, with no relief in sight.