Many people have asked why I left Eagle College.  For those who want to know, here is my explanation.


When I arrived at Eagle College in January 2008, I discovered a Third Grade class using U.S. Third Grade textbooks (Langauge, Spelling, Science, Writing, and Reading).  The students however had a working English vocabulary lower than U.S. Third Grade.  I had some very intelligent students.  Some could spell difficult words if you assigned them to learn them but they did so by strict memorization.  They did not understand the words.  One day I assigned them to make a list of 10 words they did not understand in the reading assignment.  Most had their list completed before they finished the first paragraph and some of those words were very basic English words.  I decided it was time to go back to basics.  I found a list of "Most common English Words" in an ESL book I had bought before going to Miguel  Aleman.  I had each of my Third Grade students choose a word.  I had 17 students.  The 17 words they chose were the ones we studied and learned first.  They learned to spell the words, to pronounce the words and what the words meant in Spanish.  I also began teaching them the English pronouns.  They did not even know I, you, he , she, he, it, they or we.  How then could they learn their verbs?

In April of 2008 I had the Fourth Grade added to my teaching schedule.  They were in a similar situation to where my Third Grade class had been in January.  Their level of English was well below their assigned U.S. textbooks.  I egan them on the same program I used in Third Grade.

By the end of the school  year most of the Third and Fourth Grade students had improved their English vocabulary significantly but still were not at the levels needed to use A Beka (or any other U.S. textbook) equivalent to their Spanish grade.  I had one mother ask me to please return for this past school  year.  She is the reason I decided to return.

When I arrived in August, 2008, I was assigned both Third and Fourth Grades.  My Fourth Grade was in essence my Third Grade from the year before including students who had failed English even at the basic level I had taught it.  The school moved them up anyway. The school once again had them parents buy the A Beka books as if their child was in the U.S. (Third Grade had U.S. Third Grade books, Fourth Grade had U.S. Fourth Grade books). Many in my Third Grade class had never studied English before. My best students in Third and Fourth grade were not at the academic English level to do all the work in the U.S. books. So once again I implemented an English Vocabulary enrichment program. I had purchased a copy of  ESL Teacher's Book of Lists ISBN: 0-7879-6738-6 and now had a list of the Mosdt Frequent 500 Words in the English Langauge organized based on frequency. I began both classes with List 1 (25 most frequent words) although my Fourth Grade class knew most of them. That just meant I was able to move the Fourth Grade class quicker and do more in their textbooks such as nouns, plural nouns, verbs, etc... I was still using supplemental materials I copied from books that was at an English level closer to their own including Reading material.

On Wednesday, February 4, I was informed by the school's director (Principal) that I was not to use any more photocopies to teach my class. I was to use only the textbook and by writing on the board for the children to copy. She claimed the parents did not want me using photocopies. I do not believe she was telling the truth which is sad. The school was beginning to have parents buy textbooks for this next school year. Some parents had properly inquired if the books would be used or if the students would still be taught using other materials. As I mentioned above, the school is grouping the students incorrectly for English and using the worng books. They need to be using ESL books. But they would not listen to me and apparently have decided to continue their same system. So they wanted me to get the students to work in thier A Beka books and finish the books. They did the same thing the year before and had Julie teach both Third and Fourth Grades one hour a day just to have the students write the answers in thier books so they would have the books finished whether they understood anything or not.

I came to Miguel Alemán to teach English. I was not there to have students copy answers in their books just to justify the school having the parents buy the books. Will copying answers in the books teach the students more English than the system I was using? No. Even thye school admisnistrations admitted this. But it is what they required so I quit. They have now hired a bilingual teacher to replace me. I hope they allow him to teach nthe children the English they need to elevate their English and not just "fill in the books". Based on my 13 month history with the school, I doubt they will. But I can hope.

And I will go back to substitute teaching and looking for an opportunity to work elsewhere. And doing thos ESL site to help those who want to learn English learn it.