Students Rule – On and Off the Field
A few weeks ago, we accepted three new students from Afghanistan into our afterschool program. These students are all siblings with varying levels of English speaking and reading. They have already impressed me with their respectfulness, eagerness to learn, and positive attitudes.
The youngest sibling came to us knowing the alphabet and a few sight words, and has since learned common English greetings, colors, and many more sight words. Along with her short-term academic success, she also stepped up to help Ms. Kelsey goalie during the Student vs. New American Pathways Staff soccer game. She radiated confidence as she stepped off the field and gave me a big “high-five” after the game.
The older twins have also shown social and academic growth over the past three weeks. The brother bravely stepped right up to play soccer against the New American Pathways staff during his first week with us, and he quickly made friends in our program. The oldest twin sister has helped translate information for her siblings which has helped them become more comfortable with the teachers in afterschool more quickly. I’ve only been teaching for a little over a year, but she is by far the most intrinsically motivated student I have ever encountered. She chooses to spend her free time learning new English words, and she looks forward to small group or one-on-one reading opportunities.
I can only imagine how overwhelming it can be to start over in a new country with a new language and new cultural norms. These students are excellent examples of how courageous new Americans can be. I admire their determination, and I look forward to seeing their continuing success.