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Bilingual Secondary

Welcome Back!

By Janet Kaback

W elcome back to the school year 2011-2012!  I don’t know how you are doing but I am facing larger classes, more pressure from above to get more done in less time, less take-home pay due to the governor’s and legislature’s enactment making us pay higher percentages of our pensions and health care premiums, more students with more problems and more responsibility, equaling more stress!

We are now dealing with common assessments in my department, necessitating all classes be, more or less, on the same page or in the same chapter. This presents a problem because I’ve been told that my students should have learned certain material in the elementary and middle schools. BUT my students were not in the USA for those curricula! I feel like I’m building a house beginning with the second floor because my students do not have the background knowledge and I do not have the time to teach it to them!

Is anyone else facing the same frustrations that I am?  I would love to hear from you…maybe we can devise strategies for meeting the needs of our bilingual students if we share experiences and what we are doing.  Please email me at jkaback@njtesol-njbe.org and I will endeavor to compile the responses for the next column.

Scholarship information and applications are online! Go to http://www.njtesol-njbe.org/scholarships12/default.htm . The absolute deadline for submissions to be received is March 1st, 2012. We are doing this early so as not to interfere with tutoring for HSPA or the AHSA.  Please tell your students and spread the word to your colleagues about these wonderful opportunities.

Janet Kaback, Bilingual SIG Representative