Teaching Hispanic students
Article Last Updated: 05/24/2008 12:04:22 PM MDT
Although the editorial "Pay now or later: Education funding can save welfare, prison costs" (Our View, May 19) draws attention to important issues regarding Hispanic learners, I suggest a different focus.
Having worked primarily with Hispanic learners as a teacher and then as an advocate for almost nine years, I am convinced how bright, intelligent and talented this student population is as a whole.
Therefore, it might be wiser to focus on how to better prepare educators to be effective with Hispanic learners, whether they speak English or not, than to assume that it is the Hispanic learners who need remedial programs.
Barbara (McCauley) Lovejoy Salt Lake City
With all due respect to the letter writer, I believe she falls into the trap most of the populace seems to - let's attack these problems at the teacher level. I think this allows us to vent, but solves nothing.
My students (80 % Hispanic) are not years behind because of language, nor are they years behind because a teacher was not doing his or her job. They are years behind because within their community, education is not seen as their solution. The music my students listen to praises ignorance. Most of the adult population in the community is uneducated, so there is no push coming there. My students, for the most part, run their own lives and set their own hours .... if the choice is Playstation or reading, guess which one wins.
When one does not do any kind of reading development before kindergarten.... and then the only reading that happens is in an over crowded and chaotic classroom... and when this goes on through the entire elementary experience.... OF COURSE they are behind.
My two children have read and been read to since their youngest ages. They have heard educated adult conversation from their earliest stages. Our home is saturated with language and reading opportunities.
My students' circumstances cannot begin to keep pace with that.
Attacking this at the teacher level changes nothing.