even in small communities, we get children who are new to our country
and who speak very little or no English. They struggle with the
language and the newness of our culture and we struggle to understand
them and help them as teachers.
One little girl in grade two, who has
actually been in our school for more than two years, is doing rather
well but still has her occasional problems with the language. One
day in her journal writing, her teacher was surprised to read that she
had a new "pet man" at home. Trying not to laugh, the teacher
asked her to explain by saying to her, "Do you know what a pet
is?" When the little girl replied to the affirmative, the
teacher then said to her, "And do you know what a man is?"
"Yes", said the little girl.
After some questioning and searching, the
lines of communication were still no clearer.
Finally, in desperation, the teacher
realized she was not going to get any closer to the explanation...in
fact perhaps there was no explanation except for the literal meaning.
She smiled at the little girl, "That's very nice", she said.
"I sure wish I had one too."