A Minor Breakthrough

Had a small, but incredible breakthrough with a student today. I have an ELL student in class this year, and we have no ELL services. Needless to say, it's been a challenge! We've relied heavily on Google Translate and the translate button on Google Docs. Today over lunch he came in to my classroom with about 15 minutes left in the period, and I think he asked if he could be in my room. I told him he could, and then we proceeded to have a conversation the best we could. In those 15 minutes I found out that he is living here with his dad. His mom and brother and sister are still in Mexico. While in Mexico and California he witnessed many deaths due to drug trafficking via aviation. This kid is so young but has already seen so much.

Our journal prompt today was: give three reasons why you want to go on living your life. After I translated it for him, he wrote, The three reasons I want to live my life are my mother, my father, and my siblings. He came up and showed me and I wrote, hermoso (which Google Translate tells me is Spanish for 'beautiful') on his page. While my other students took a quiz over figurative language, I asked him to write his story. He typed it up so diligently on Google Translate and then would bring me the paragraphs translated into broken English. My heart swelled today as I read his work and listened to him try and speak in English. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it would be to walk in his shoes, everyone around you speaking a foreign language all day long.

Before this I was frustrated about having this student in class. I was mad that our district doesn't have any services to offer him, I was tired of trying to adapt everything I do for him and then make accommodations and modifications for ten other students as well. I had a bad attitude. But today it faded. Today during journaling time I played Brandon Heath's song, "Give Me Your Eyes." The chorus really has stuck with as I reflect on my minor breakthrough with this student:

"Give me your eyes for just one second / Give me your eyes so I can see / Everything that I keep missing / Give me your love for humanity"

Teaching is exhausting. But this song is a great reminder of how to redirect my crabbiness and try to see situations and people the way God sees them.

1 comment:

The Roberts said...

Love that song and fit perfect for the world to realize that others have suffered so much and are looking to find their place in this world as well