Today I got a new student. She was a quiet and shy little girl, and she was not only new to the school, but new to the country. Her family was from Hungary. She spoke no English.
I tried very hard to make her feel comfortable in my classroom. There were some tears when her parents dropped her off at my room. I tried to reassure the parents that she was going to be okay. Fortunately, she had an older brother who was in the same building.
The first thing I did was try to get her some “buddies” that could help her with materials. There were many hands that went up when I asked for volunteers. The buddies also played with her at recess and ate lunch with her. My students are really sweet.
I spent some time trying to find out how much she really knew. She seemed to be comfortable with math and computation. I encouraged her to use manipulatives (unifix cubes) when she was stuck. When I had to continue with my regularly scheduled plans, I felt bad for her. She was very attentive, but I knew concepts were just going over her head. She really tried her best.
At the end of the day, my classroom phone rang. It was the secretary. She informed me that my new student would not be returning tomorrow. Instead, she would be attending another school in her attendance area. Apparently the other school made an error. They informed the parents that there were no openings in any 5th grade classrooms (Her older brother was in 5th grade.). The parents did not want to separate the kids, so the other school suggested they come to our school. The other school realized there was a spot in 5th grade. Another student had moved and the office forgot to drop them from their roster. In the end, the parents decided to go to their home school. So, my new student was literally here today and will be gone tomorrow!
I am a little bummed since my students started bonding with her. The thing I was most happy about was how open and willing my other students were to help her out today. Now, she will have to start all over again at her new school. Darn, I was looking forward to learning Hungarian! 🙂