Rosa entered her fifth grade classroom feeling alone and uncomfortable. She knows very little English so it is hard for her to communicate with the other students in the class as well as the teacher. Most of the time Rosa either does not do her assignments or she copies other students, because she is unable to read and understand English. When it comes to group activities she stands alone and observes what the other students are doing. She never actively participates in group work, because she cannot communicate with the other students. While the teacher is teaching, Rosa doodles and draws pictures on her notebook, which causes the teacher to call her name over and over again to get her to pay attention. Rosa’s parents, Alberto and Jisela, speak little English so it is hard for the teachers and administrators to discuss the problems in the classroom.
The Parents of Rosa
Mr. and Mrs. Delgado know very little English so they do not go to the school to talk to Rosa’s teacher, instead they have a very short conversations over the phone. They do understand that Rosa is having difficulty in school and are concerned with Rosa and how she is behaving. They are constantly getting phone calls and notes from the teacher, Mrs. Smith, saying that Rosa is not doing well in school. They believe that Mrs. Smith is moving too fast through the material and leaving Rosa behind. Mr. and Mrs. Delgado think Mrs. Smith should be working more with Rosa one-on-one to help her with her school work. They feel it is her fault that Rosa is not doing well in school. Both of Rosa’s parents have discussed pulling Rosa out of school, but Mrs. Smith has advised them not to do that.
The School Principal
The school Principal, Mrs. Harris, is very concerned with Rosa and her behavior. Mrs. Harris has had meetings with Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Rios (Rosa’s ESOL teacher) discussing Rosa’s behavior and the lack of parent involvement. Mrs. Harris has decided to try and find Rosa an English-Spanish tutor to help her with her English and her school work. Mrs. Harris thinks Rosa is having difficulty with assignments and group work, because she is scared and intimidated by the other students in her class. She is also frightened that the other students will make fun of her accent and her writing abilities. Mrs. Harris has set a time to meet with Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Rios each week to discuss Rosa’s progress.
The School Counselor
Mrs. Levitt, the school’s counselor, is very concerned with Rosa and how she is adjusting to the school and its English environment. She has tried to talk to Rosa about the move from Honduras, but Rosa refuses to talk to her. Mrs. Levitt feels the behavior Rosa is showing is a way of getting back at her parents for moving to the United States. Mrs. Levitt thinks Rosa is intelligent and has the potential to excel in school, but she is just not showing it. Mrs. Levitt has scheduled for Rosa to come to her office twice a week to talk to her.
The Classroom Teacher
Mrs. Smith, Rosa’s teacher, has put Rosa in a group with another little boy that speaks fluent Spanish and English. He tries to help her with the group activities, but she still does participate in the group activities. Mrs. Smith sat the little boy on the other side of the room, because she did not want Rosa and him to talk during the lectures. Mrs. Smith has tried to call Mr. and Mrs. Delgado many times, but Rosa’s sister Fermina answers the phone. Mrs. Smith has left many messages telling them she would like to set up a meeting with them, but they have not yet responded. Mrs. Smith has tried to work one-on-one with Rosa, but when she ask Rosa a question she only gets mutters and noises from Rosa. Rosa is very distant and shy in class so Mrs. Smith usually never calls on her to ask questions. The only time Mrs. Smith calls on her is when she is not paying attention. Mrs. Smith has set meetings with Mrs. Harris and Mrs. Levitt to talk about Rosa and her behavior.
The ESOL Teacher
The ESOL teacher, Mrs. Rios, pulls Rosa out of the classroom for one hour everyday. She thinks Rosa has shown tremendous improvement over the past couple of weeks. Mrs. Rios thinks Mrs. Smith needs to be harder on Rosa in the classroom and she thinks Mrs. Smith needs to call on her more. She thinks this will help to get Rosa to speak more and to pay more attention in class. Mrs. Rios does not see the lack of interest or involvement that Mrs. Smith sees probably due to Rosa feeling more comfortable relaxed around her. Mrs. Rios also has had no complaints of Rosa not completing her assignments or homework. Mrs. Rios has agreed to call Rosa’s parents to try and set up a conference which will include Rosa, Mr. and Mrs. Delgado, Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Rios. She will inform Mr. and Mrs. Delgado that she will be present, because she knows English and Spanish.
The Special Needs Teacher
Rosa has no special needs other than the ESOL teacher she meets with everyday for one hour.