I don't know what to do

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by kellzy, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    Aug 22, 2013

    Hello all.
    I'm a fourth year teacher this year and we started this week. As I have started to learn more about my class I've found one student who almost makes me cry. This child is a refugee from East Africa, Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, one of those unstable countries in the area. As a disclaimer, this situation is not uncommon in my school. Most classrooms have one or two children in this situation, in my four years, I've had ten students who are refugees from that particular part of the world. This child doesn't speak a word of English (not a big deal, I know how to deal with that part), the part that I just don't know what to do is the fact that this child has never seen the inside of a classroom. Ever. Neither have the parents. I've never had a child this new to the country. This is their first month in the country, and judging by this child's reaction to the classroom library, this child has probably never even seen a book before.
    I don't know where to start, or where to fit this child in. This child doesn't know how to open a book, how to hold a pencil and was horribly confused on what to do with a pair of scissors. What do I do for this child? Any advice on how to help this child is more than appreciated!
     
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  3. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Aug 22, 2013

    I think it would be great to assign a buddy to this student. Someone who you know is kind and caring and can help this student out. Someone who you know you can have a chat with about the fact that everything is new to this student and he/she can use some extra guidance. Since you just got your class you may want to ask some of the 2nd grade teachers for a great helper.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 22, 2013

    If its not uncommon in your school to have refugees from his country, could you find one who has been in your school a year or two to partner him up with?
     
  5. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Aug 22, 2013

    I would try to meet with the parents. If they do not speak English I would try and meet with the parents and the person who registered the child. This person would speak the language in order to fill in the info the school would need. Our school district had to do this and we found that a child placed in 3rd really needed to be in 2nd.
     
  6. letsteach

    letsteach Comrade

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    Aug 25, 2013

    We have students like that in our school. Some students go to 'intensive ESL lessons'. They are withdrawn for a morning or afternoon session and work one on one. (Some teachers prefer the student to be withdrawn during English lessons as the focus is on reading and writing and the student cannot participate in the lesson). The students definitely attend class for art and HPE, a time they can mix with the others in their class with less stress on academic outcomes. The ESL/ support teacher starts with the basics including phonics. I think they benefit from a lot of hands on activities, visuals and use of manipulatives.

    For refugee children there are gaps in their learning (and huge ones if they have never been to school). Has he been placed in your class because of his age or cognitive ability? Would going back a year level help? The refugee children I had were very switched on with what I called a 'survival instinct', they've been at school 3 years now and all are doing really well (I teach kindergarten and they all repeated kindergarten as their English language skills needed to improve, and all aspects of literacy). Get work from the Kindgergarten, Year 1 and 2 teachers to fast forward him. When other students are doing maths concepts he might be doing basic addition, subtraction, etc. Prioritize curriculum he needs. Any homework club, tutoring, etc. Do you have volunteers?
     
  7. letsteach

    letsteach Comrade

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    Aug 25, 2013

    One thing I found interesting is that when a refugee child has a date of birth of 1st January it means they do not know when the child was born, only the year. Is he young for the grade? If he's young and physically small you might get away with him being 2 grades lower. (One of my refugee children had been malnourished and was the size of a three year (one of my student's brother).
     
  8. janis

    janis Companion

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    Aug 25, 2013

    You must develop completely different goals for this child. They clearly need to become acquainted with the traditional classroom and a lot of that will come in time as they observe the other children in your room. At this stage, just being in your room all day will be a huge plus for this child, they'll learn so much about school just by witnessing all that you do. But try to keep him as involved as you can without making him frustrated.
     
  9. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Aug 25, 2013

    :yeahthat:
     

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