Sunday, May 18, 2014

I Thought I Knew

You would think that I would know my students, considering that we only have three more weeks of school.

You would think that I would know basic information, such as where they were born.  Or how long they have lived in the United States.

You would think.

I was wrong.

This week I learned that I have a student in my class whose grandfather is one of the most important Ministers in the Republic of Guinea, Africa.

I didn't know.

I had also assumed that this same child, an English Language Learner, was born in Guinea and had moved to the United States when he was 7 years old.

I was wrong.

This past Friday, when his grandfather visited our class (oh my gosh!), I learned that this wonderful student was actually born in the United States.  When he was 1 year old, his parents sent him BACK to Guinea so he could spend his formative years learning from his grandfather, learning French, and going to school in Guinea.  He returned to the U.S. when he was 7.

Wow.  Would I do the same with my own children?  Would I have the courage to send my child away to another country for seven years to be with my parents?

I am continually amazed at my students and the life experiences they have.  Watching my student translate for his grandfather while our class asked questions was the highlight of my month.  

How better for 9 year olds to learn about the French Colonization of Guinea, than from one of the Ministers of Guinea himself?

I need another year with these kids.  I really do.

And I look absolutely ridiculous in this shirt while next to these beautiful people.

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