Teaching a fourth grade class was always seen as a challenge to me...So many state exams to prepare for! I never thought I would be ready to accept or even to come close to meeting the expectations, but I was made the 4th grade bilingual teacher of my urban area elementary school where I met Patty, one of my students who was always "pretending to know how to read". Her situation helped me to gain new understandings about my fears because I knew then that we were both in the same boat... wondering how to overcome the challenges of 4th grade demands!
I didn't feel prepare to start a school year as a 4th grade teacher, but let's think about Patty... she was not prepared for 4th grade... nor prepared for life! Patty could not read at age 9 when most other kids in my class were already fluent readers and a great majority of them were able to read in both English and Spanish. Where should I begin? Where should she begin? It was going to be a year to remember!