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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Bad Example

I was expecting a phone call. Maybe a visit from my administrator. I'd bitten my nails down too far. Not knowing if there would be repercussions was the worst. During my fourth period, just before my lunch and planning, I'd talked too much. My students were reading a story about a boy who wasn't allowed to play soccer because of a vision problem. He was upset because he didn't think it was a big deal but the school was cognizant of it once his mom sent a note.
So one of my students asked what were vision problems. I gave some examples- one of them being amblyopia or "lazy eye".
"What's lazy eye?" one student asked. So I explained and I gave an example. (Mistake)
"It's not a big deal. It is common," I assured him and tried to move on.
Not quitting while I was ahead, I came up with a real example. Limited English Proficient students, many times, need real examples or visuals.
No pun intended.
"There is a lady who works in the drive-thru at the McDonald's, right up the road here, from the school [pointing at my window] and she has a lazy eye."
Again I attempted to move on.
"At the McDonald's beside the highways down there [pointing in same direction]?" a student asked.
"Yes. The McDonald's near the highway, UP there," I answered, "now who's turn is it to read?"
I noticed the student's face. He was still thinking about it.
"Do the lady have long, black hair?" he continued.
"I think so, but-"
"That's my Mom!" he interrupted. This was awkward. All eyes were on me...waiting.
"As I said, it is a common eye problem and I am not sure if it was your mother. But it isn't something people can help," I offered.
"What is it called again?" someone asked. "Their eyes is lazy," another answered.
"No! Not lazy eyes. It's called lazy eye and-"
"But my Mom, her eyes is not lazy. They work all the times," he added.
Everyone started talking.
"Okay. Okay. Get quiet everyone," I said.
I quickly walked up to him and apologized. His feet were swinging as usual like a happy dog with a wagging tail. He turned to the next page in the story so I quickly jumped back in too.
"Where were we?" I looked up.
One student was crossing his eyes and raising his hand, with a foolish smile.
I called on someone else.

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