Friday, June 09, 2017


  This year at work I switched to the English as a New Language program and what a pleasure it has been.  I've often worked with kids in it when they have been in mainstream classes I've been assigned to, and last year mentored one taking WISE.  The new assignment has been great and it's a real treat to get to know so many kids from such varied places around the world.
  Imagine my surprise when I realized I had a twin from China!  Ting has lived in the US since she was 12, but went to school in Brooklyn where most of her classmates were also Chinese so she didn't learn much English.  She dropped out soon after she turned 16 and worked up and down the East Coast at restaurants but at some point realized she still wasn't learning much English, or anything else. 
  As her mentor for her WISE project, I can attest that she has learned a great deal of English.  She's been writing the story of her father immigrating to the US in the early 2000's, it's quite a story, one that few of us can imagine or appreciate what people put on the line to have a better life for themselves and their families.  Now that she is 21 she is facing two NY State Regents exams for her last chance to become a high school graduate. 
  Big deal, isn't looking just like me enough?

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