Nicole Lansdale

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Interview Text and Audio


The interview was organized around several major themes: the basic understanding of a dual language program (Spanish and English) and what it does for students, including things such as how students are accepted into the program and the track they are on; the class of Nicole Lansdale how and the positive and negatives that come with having a mixed class; her views on how dual language classes benefit children, their families, and the Chapel Hill, N.C. and Carrboro, N.C. community as a whole; and the problems with the dual language classrooms and possible solutions to improve the system. This interview was done as part of a series to learn more and understand the opportunities that are available for immigrants and the children of immigrants in Chapel Hill, N.C. It was meant to focus on the overarching theme of how dual language classrooms can help students in the transition into schools where they will not only have to begin learning, but begin learning in a language that is completely unfamiliar to them.


Tim McEachran: My name is Tim McEachran and I'm interviewing Nicole Lansdale, a dual-language kindergarten teacher at Mary Scroggs Elementary in Chapel Hill. It is March 26, 2012 and it is 3:00. This is for the Southern Oral History Project and more specifically the project on Latin American Immigrant Perspectives. So just to start off, um, I'd like to talk a little bit about, um, I wanted to know if you could if you could talk about where you're from and where you went to school and things like that.
Nicole Lansdale: Okay. I was born in the United States but went back to Honduras which is where my parents are from and lived there until I finished high school and then I came to UNC for college. (TM sound). So I spoke English and Spanish at home and I went to a school where I spoke English and Spanish and I am half American and half Hispanic. So I kind of fit into two worlds.
TM: Okay. Yeah. Okay. Um So you've lived in North Carolina ever since you've graduated? How long ago --
NL: So I've been here 5 years. 4 years during UNC and then this is my first year teaching here
TM: Oh. Wow. Okay. Cool. Um -- and so just a general question how does like immigration and being Hispanic effect your time period at UNC an also I guess how does immigration affect your profession now?
NL: Well there aren't very many Hispanics at UNC, at least that was my initial, I guess, feeling. And I never felt, I guess I look Hispanic, but I don't at that same time it's not a very physical experience which I feel like a lot of the times is why people react differently to you. So a lot of times when I did speak Spanish people kind of look at me and they can’t figure it out. But it was more a culture shock than anything else. Because I came straight from Honduras.
TM: And you lived in Honduras for --
NL: For 17 years.
TM: 17 years. Okay.
NL: So it was more just like customs or like things that they say in the South you know a southern accent I still can't really understand. So. But I never, I don't know, I really enjoyed UNC and I always felt like people appreciated my culture and they wanted to know more so it wasn’t ever a negative feeling.
TM: Never a negative feeling at UNC. Okay.
NL: And it really helped me get a job, being able to speak Spanish. In the School of Education, I was able to just. They knew I spoke Spanish so I was contacted pretty early by the dual language program.
TM: Okay yeah. When you are working like when you were in the School of Education do you have a specific path for a dual language program
NL: No I wish they did. When you are in the elementary program you student teach for a year and they don’t give you the option of dual language. Which is a bummer. Because there were 3 of us who spoke Spanish there and we really wanted to-- if we got a job in that profession, in that field, it would be so much better if we could learn because dual language is completely different. I basically started from scratch. Because they don’t teach you anything in the School of Education about dual language. So I taught in a regular classroom for student teaching.
TM: Is that at Scroggs too?
NL: No it was at…I can't remember
TM: It’s okay.
NL: I’ll come back to it. It’s here in Chapel Hill
TM: Here in Chapel Hill. Alright. So this is your first year teaching dual language classroom…
NL: Teaching anything.
TM: Teaching anything I guess. Has it been more challenging than you expected?
NL: Yes and no. I think at the beginning of the year it was really just because you know you’re English speakers speak no Spanish and your Spanish speakers speak very little English. But now, now I would do it again. At the beginning it was a little overwhelming. But now I don’t translate at all for either English or Spanish. And they, you know, they understand. It’s actually crazy how quickly they pick it up. And they just read in Spanish and it comes so natural at that age to pick up a second language it’s pretty amazing.
TM: And so, I did a little research before I--just about the Chapel Hill/Carrboro school system dual language program. First of all, not all the elementary schools have this program..
NL: No. Only 3
TM: Only 3 have this program. And so how--I know that there is like a lottery system, or some type of lottery system and you apply for it. And I was wondering if you could talk a little more about that. And is there a certain ratio of Hispanic versus non Hispanic as they enter in? And what is that?
NL: So every school is different. But here we have a 50/50 program. 50 percent of my kids are Hispanic and 50 percent are American or white. And then the day is also. So our first half is Spanish and our second half is English.
TM: Okay.
NL: In terms of the lottery, because we have so few Hispanics that come to this school--they automatically, well unless they're parents don’t agree to it then they automatically come into this classroom. It is only the English speakers that go into the lottery.
TM: Oh. Okay. So Hispanic students that come to Scroggs, especially because the neighborhood that it’s in and things like that they automatically get placed in here?
NL: Unless their parents do not want them to. But that’s really rare. Because most people realize the benefit of their child understanding and keeping the language.
TM: So then what about--so this is a Kindergarten class, as they get older, how long does this program last? Do they go through, like will you go up with them? But they stay with the same class?
NL: Yeah that is the hard part because there is only one classroom here. These kids will be together until 5th grade. So they'll be really close by the time they get there. But. Because in other schools where there are two tracks, you know so like two kindergarten classrooms they can mix them up every year. But this, but you know there are benefits to it. Because now the ones that are in 3rd grade are so close. Because they've been together for 4 years. I guess it changes because right now we do all literacy in Spanish and all math and science in English. And in first grade it switches a little bit and then in second grade it switches more. So some things that were in English are in Spanish. So that way by the time they get to 5th grade they are completely bilingual. In math and reading.
TM: So is it automatic that they will get to move up within the system? So sometimes people drop out? Like things like that?
NL: So if you move and you don’t maintain it, you can’t come back in the program. Or there are some cases where, it’s usually an English speaker, if he or she really is not doing well or picking it up then we might suggest that their parents move them out. It doesn’t happen very often but it does happen.
TM: And does Scroggs, like how long has Scroggs had this program? Do they have a 5th grade class right now?
NL: No the highest is 3rd grade, so this is its 4th year here.
TM: Its 4th year.
NL: But like Carrboro has a 5th grade because they’ve had it a lot longer.
TM: They’ve had it a lot longer. What’s the other elementary school?
NL: FPG. And I’m not sure what grade they go up to.
TM: Do you guys collaborate some? Or mostly it’s just like Scroggs, Carrboro, FPG?
NL: We actually had a big meeting about this because they’re thinking about making just one big dual language school because it is so hard. You know, like I plan by myself because I’m the only Kindergarten teacher here. So I can’t plan with the other 3. So it makes it hard. But like at Carrboro where there are two classes there is at least two teachers who can plan together. There is a lot that is trying to be--it is such a new thing that they're still like figuring it out trying to make it better.
TM: Okay. Yeah we'll talk about that. I have some more questions about that at the end. That’s interesting.
NL: So it’s fresh on my mind.
TM: So it’s fresh on your mind right now that'll be good to talk about.
TM: So now maybe I thought we could move toward your class specifically.
NL: Yeah.
TM: So what is the makeup of your class? Like you said 50/50, but then with the Latinos?
NL: Within the Latinos, let’s see we have, 4 that are from Mexico, we have Guatemala represented, Peru, let me think. None of them that I know were born in Central America or South America. They were all born here. But their parents, their parents are born in those countries.
TM: So they're all probably 2nd…
NL: 2nd generation. Actually, there’s probably more Mexico than 4. I think 6 or 7 are from Mexico and then a couple from Guatemala. And then Peru. And I think that is about it. So mostly Mexico.
TM: Cause especially this area is heavy on Mexico and like Guanajuato. But then so some of the…do some of the dual language classrooms have a first generation or a child who moved here maybe??
NL: I know there are a few who have come and you know not in the best ways. Like you hear how they got here and it is pretty scary. You know. So. But I don't have any who have that history.
TM: Okay, okay.
NL: But a lot of them have their parents, like one of their parents maybe still--
TM: Is still in Mexico or--
NL: One of them their Dad is still in Guatemala and he lives with his mom and his sister here.
TM: Oh okay. Wow. Yeah, does that present any like difficulties because I know like--
NL: I mean I’m sure economically it does. One parent supporting a household. Umm and you know any time I bring up Dad it’s kind of like, you know I try to. It’s kind of a sensitive subject I know with him so you have to be careful. You know who has both mom and dad at home and who doesn’t.
TM: Even with non-Hispanic.
NL: Yeah with both ways.
TM: That’s interesting. So could you talk a little bit about more, I know you like touched briefly about how the actual classroom works. And I knew because I also worked with Mrs. Ochoa last semester. And so reading comprehension is all in Spanish up until what grad? And talk about how that like, I guess like the track of dual language.
NL: So Kindergarten all reading, all literacy basically, reading and writing is Spanish. Math, science, and social studies are English. But we integrate social studies into literacy. So its covered in both English and Spanish. And 1st grade it pretty much stays the same. But they are introduced into some letters in math. Like the word "and" and "is." So like little stuff. And then first grade it pretty much stays the same. But then 2nd grade it switches. So they start to do some reading in English. So like half the year. And then it just progresses like that. So then 3rd grade because the EOG they have to switch a lot more to reading in English. But research shows they switch just fine so it is never been a problem.
TM: Yeah.
NL: And then from then they kind of do switches back and forth between English and Spanish. But once they have that strong foundation it is not a hard switch
TM: It is easy to go back and forth. And I know you mentioned earlier, that it can be, especially at the very beginning it can be really hard, especially with the English speaker. And as of now it is March, and is that problem pretty much gone with both? Or not necessarily?
NL: I mean as frustrating as this is, you're English speakers who come in knowing nothing are now reading higher than my Hispanic students in Spanish.
TM: Oh really. Wow.
NL: It kind of hurts to see that happen, you know. Because these programs--the focus is to help the Hispanics. It’s not to help the English speakers. That is just like a plus that they’re getting, you know. But these kids they had so much growing up, they went to preschool, and they have support at home. And my Hispanic kids come in not knowing any letters. Most of them, I won’t say all of them. But you, know, 9 or 10 out of my 12. So--
TM: I’ve noticed that too when I do the vocabulary tubs that we have--my Latino sometimes he doesn’t know the letters. He'll know the objects when I bring them out, but he doesn’t know the letters, can’t connect that they all start with the same thing.
NL: And I mean they’re all doing really well. It’s just you can't hold them at that same expectation coming into Kindergarten if they haven’t had that background. It’s just so unfair to hold them at the same standard. They all have to be able to read at a level C. Some came in knowing how to read and some don’t even know what a letter is.
TM: So some English speakers already know, so like you can go…and if you look at Spanish words you can pronounce them.
NL: Yeah its phonetics. All the English speakers had to do was switch their letter sounds. Which isn't that hard to do, you know? And my Hispanic speakers are learning what a letter is. You know, just like even the concept of a letter. How do you explain to a child what a letter is, and it doesn’t happen overnight. So…But I definitely think these kids, the Latinos, are excelling so much more because they are in this classroom. If they were in an English classroom they would be so lost. And they would zone out and not care. Because instruction is in their language they can focus so much more. So.
TM: And also, just this. I know all kindergarten classrooms have two teachers, a teacher and a--
TM: And I know your TA also speaks Spanish, so do all the TA's speak Spanish in dual language?
NL: Yes.
TM: And are there certain qualifications to be a dual language teacher?
NL: You have to be able to speak English and Spanish. And have a teaching license.
TM: Because there is not really any program, you don’t have to…
NL: Which is why it is hard. And why they have to be switching teachers so often in this district and why having it all together would make it easier. And even support. So I have a student with special needs, and he’s a Spanish speaker. So it’s really hard for my special-ed teachers to help him. Because they can’t communicate as well with him.
TM: Yeah. So now maybe we can move to talking more about like some of the issues I guess specifically surrounding the children of immigrants, the Latinos and--so you said that most of them are second generation immigrants to the US, so how does this specifically help the kids and is it designed to aid students with English as their 2nd language, and their transition into--not calling it a transition into English but a transition into school in general.
NL: Because it is in Spanish, they are able to feel like they know the answers. So they can feel…Like we do a study of Central America and a big topic is like a lot of my English speakers think Mexico is the only place people speak Spanish. And how like, you know…there is all Central and South America. And we talk a lot about that. And they feel so proud when they can talk about their country and where they come from. And share pictures and like we look stuff up online and look at maps. So that is really cool to see that they, you know, in other places they just wouldn’t be valued for where they come from and how special that is.
TM: And they wouldn’t really, they probably wouldn’t even be allowed to voice how they feel.
NL: So during writing, writing is really hard for an English speaker. So they might know how to write it but they don’t know the word. So during this time I really encourage the Spanish speakers to you know like, you can tell him or her how to say that word. I could say: ask your friend how to say car. And the Spanish speaker feels a little more pride and ownership over the language. And they can share with each other, which is nice to see because in another classroom you would never see that kind of collaboration between kids, especially at such a young age.
TM: That made me think of something else, though. Is there once you, I know it is probably different, but as you get older and grow up in high school and in college, or here, if you are in a Spanish class there are comments on like you should only speak Spanish and English at certain times. This goes back to more of the structure of the class. Maybe not in Kindergarten cause they are still learning; but as they get older, like 3rd, 4th, 5th grade are there certain times where teachers say you have to use these languages? Or do they just go back and forth how they want?
NL: No. Um. We do try and keep it structured for them And because it is Kindergarten I try to keep it more like a, whenever an English speaker does say something in Spanish I just try and praise him, like “Oh look they are trying so hard.” Because they don’t say it write, but you know they’re trying. The verb tenses are all wrong. But look so and so is trying so hard to say it in Spanish even though that was so much harder than saying it in English. And the same if a Spanish speaker talks in English. So just trying to keep that a positive thing. Because once they do get into first grade she really forces them to try and speak Spanish.
TM: And that also reminded me, when you were talking about English speakers learning verb tenses and Spanish, and obviously Spanish speakers learning in English. That has to be so hard to do all that in one day, because…it’s hard. All the tenses in Spanish. For me, they are hard. It’s very hard to get them straight.
NL: You know, they’re hard. But you can’t teach a 5 year old that. That is kind of like from listening and practicing. That’s how they’re going to get it. Because you can’t really explain the past tense, the preterite. It’s just not going to work. They get it pretty quick. It’s just by practice.
TM: So I know one thing you talked about is how a lot of them, their parents, not a lot but some might have parents back in their home countries and things like that. Something that we've talked about some is how sometimes immigrants have this "sueño americano" and they come and one of the main things that they come here for is to like help their children with education and health and economically, and for education as well. So do you think that this helps play that out? Or shows this?
NL: I definitely think it does. Because, now they can help, if they can read and write, they can help their child. While if they were in an English classroom, even if they could read or write it would be very hard for them to help their child at home. But you know, since all the books I send home are in Spanish. And I tell the parents go over the letters, read to them in Spanish, help them write in Spanish, so they feel so much more confident to do it than if their teacher was an English speaking teacher.
TM: [Interruption - lights turn off] What is that?
NL: It’s okay. They do that automatically.
TM: For parents, and when speaking of parents, do sometimes, you say you send home books all in Spanish is that sometimes hard for English speakers? And there are parents who are just like "Woah what can I do? I can’t help my child with homework."
NL: Yeah I talk to them about that too and I’m like “Encourage your child to be your teacher.” That is the only way. And some of them are taking Spanish classes on the side. But you know, they work. They don’t have hours to spend. But I think it’s nice that some of them are taking Spanish classes. And I have Spanish speaking parents who are in English classes. So this is a good group of kids and parents so their parents are really involved.
TM: And most likely their parents are pro active in trying to get them into these programs so obviously they are--
NL: The English speaking parents who apply for the lottery, a lot of them they tell me: "We don't want our kid here just to learn Spanish.” We want them to be a part of something big or really experience people who are different or who come from different backgrounds and not 24 white kids in a class. That just doesn’t expose you to anything different than what you are surrounded by.
TM: That’s actually one of the next things I was going to talk about. So like, the class dynamics that come from having 50/50. Is that--does everyone get along? Are there any types of tensions at all?
NL: There is. I feel like--I've talked to some of the other teachers. Because I felt like I saw separation, especially between my boys, like between English speakers and Spanish speakers. I think it’s more of a language barrier right now. Because they really don’t understand class barrier and stuff like that. Because it is hard for them to communicate they generally play with those who they can speak more easily with, which I understand. But you know, there are some comments that do come. “Oh, he's mexican. Blah blah blah.” But he wasn't Mexican. So there are little things like that that you do have to address. Because they just have misconceptions that they have just heard. They don’t really know. They don’t say it maliciously or anything. But which is why they are in a classroom like this, because they'll become exposed to it.
TM: So this environment that they get put into, how does it benefit both of them in that way?
NL: Well I think the Spanish speakers it gives them those friendships to build the English with. And you know, when a Spanish speaker messes up speaking English, well you know that’s what they're learning. But when an English speaker messes up in Spanish you know that’s what you're working on. So they really see how it’s hard. Like half the day it’s going to be hard for you and half the day is going to be easier because it’s in your native language. It is just interesting to have those conversations. And I think having Nancy, which is my TA, model to them how you can become fluent in both and just switch, and sometimes I don't remember the words in one or the other after half the day of switching and I say “It’s okay to not know words,” and we'll look it up and have that conversation.
TM: And all of the virtual classroom stuff you guys have. When I come in and you're working on the iPads and things like that, does that help a lot?
NL: Oh yeah. There is not as much in Spanish but there are books in Spanish and videos in Spanish online that I try to watch. And there are electronic websites ( ) that they've translated all to Spanish, which is great because the kids can all read that, on the smart board or the iPads.
TM: So do you think--one thing you talk about is that this program is designed to aid Hispanic students…but is it also, does it also give some type of cultural capital do the American students that are here? How do you think that benefits them?
NL: Well I think some of them are a lot more aware of others and the world. And others just have no idea that there is anyone but themselves. So comments like, this is just the one I keep coming to because we talked about it for weeks, just how you know it’s not just Mexicans who speak Spanish. I mean look at me, I've never even been to Mexico and I speak Spanish. And actually our pen pals are from Spain, Sevilla. And I say “Look they are across the world and they speak Spanish,” you know. So just trying to open up their eyes and not have that stereotype against Mexicans because I really, like that’s one of my biggest concerns. Cause we do have more Hispanics that are from Mexico than other countries, but that is still not a generalization that I want them to make. I tell them that you all are going to speak Spanish, so does that mean you are from somewhere other than the United States. I really think that opens their eyes. And I think having projects, I mean our pen pals in Sevilla, and just like different countries helps them to learn more than they would in a regular classroom. And it still incorporates, and they're still learning to read and write but it just does so much more.
TM: Yeah it helps them to learn more about what is going on.
NL: And you know, like Hispanic music. Well and I'm probably the youngest teacher here so I bring in music that is not, some might think very appropriate, but they like it and that’s what they listen to at home. They don't want a lullaby at this age anymore. It is funny to hear them singing current pop Hispanics.
TM: So do you think, obviously it helps out this classroom a lot, and I know there are like Spanish classes and ESL classes at well. How are these students in the dual language classroom viewed by the other students at the school? Is it negative? Do they even know what is going on??
NL: They know. They know. Because as soon as I walk into one of the other Kindergarten classrooms the other kids try to start speaking to me in Spanish. So they know. And it’s kind of hard because I have some parents be like "Oh we wish you were in that classroom." Because a lot of them did not get in to the lottery. Which is hard, because they really should encourage their child to be happy in the classroom that they are in. Because at this point it is too late. But I think it’s viewed, the school really tries to make it a good thing, because we are kind of segregated. So there is a lot of attention put on us. And we had a dual language assembly. And we all presented something like a dance or a song. I think it really helped the school appreciate that these kids are learning twice as hard to learn two languages. But I think there is a little bit of negative feeling.
TM: Maybe especially as they get older??
NL: Yeah, yeah. Just because they are different and getting a special treatment of some sort. And we actually don't receive any ESL support.
TM: Your class doesn't get any? I was wondering about that.
NL: Unfortunately. It’s a district rule. I am their ESL support. Which is kind of crazy.
TM: Yeah that is kind of hard. Because you weren’t trained in that, so you know. But there is an ESL program that goes to the others?
NL: The regular classrooms receive ESL support.
TM: For the Hispanics?
NL: For anyone.
TM: Yeah. For anyone. So we've talked about how it works to better the community in the school, but what about, why is this so important for Chapel Hill and Carrboro. I mean you haven't lived here for a very long time, but 5 years. Why is it so important? So you've obviously gotten a taste of what it’s like here? Why is so important to have this in this area?
NL: I think even talking to my white parents, your quote on quote white, because you know there are two German families. And just like helping them become aware of how different the lives of these children are that live in my Hispanic families. And not all, but. And just getting them to do play dates together and stuff like that it really, they are always so apprehensive to do it because of the language and like culture, but afterwards they're so excited. You know, they played so well together and the parents were so great. And you know, it seems hard to something out of, you know, not play with their neighbor. And make it a little bit harder and drive somewhere else and play with a kid that lives in a different neighborhood than you. It really helps your child see that you're willing to make that effort too. You know, to do something with someone else. I don’t know. It’s just. I have a lot of parents who come in and volunteer and I like that they see how they work together, the kids, and you know how they are all learning together. And it’s not a divide.
TM: Yeah. Yeah. ( )
NL: And you have Hispanics who are writing twice as well as my English speakers. You know, so there is not any more like "Oh they're a little below us." Because they can excel because it’s in their language.
TM: Yeah. Let’s see. So one more question about that and then we'll move on to what we were talking about early and problems and things. So a lot of times, or sometimes, programs like this are viewed as assimilating Latinos into American society and American schools and like not conforming them, but like assimilation. Is that what, like, this program is viewed as or is that what its supposed to be? Or is it supposed to be more something like, just like having them together and learning about other cultures and being together while they learn?
NL: I think that is hard because your teachers are Hispanic. You know, if your teachers were American then yes you would be assimilating them into American culture. But being Hispanic, and my TA being Hispanic, I don't know how I would assimilate them into American culture. You know, it naturally comes in and that’s naturally going to happen with 12 American kids in my classroom. But at the same time there is so much of an influence from both sides. It is hard to say, I don’t think that’s the reason why, would say that is why this class is here.
TM: So the point is not to do that?
NL: No. Not at all. It is more to bring in their culture and their language and for them not to lose it. You know we don’t want these Hispanic kids to go into English classrooms and forget their Spanish. That would just be really sad. We want them to just keep both languages going.
TM: Okay so to talk a little more about, like, is this program doing enough to like help aid immigrants and the children of immigrants or should the school system be offering more assistance in the form of more programs? Or--just talk about like, you just said you had a really big meeting about what to do about this.
NL: And I mean there is only so much the schools can do. You know I think this is a great step and the school offers so much help to the neighborhood where most of our Hispanic families live. It’s an after school program where teachers volunteer to go.
TM: What is that neighborhood?
NL: It is ( ). Abbey Court.
TM: Oh. The Abbey Court.
ML: Yeah, in Carrboro.
TM: Okay. Do a lot of students from Abbey Court come here??
NL: Yeah all of them. They are districted here. So I think the school does a huge part to help them. And at the same time, you know, if these families wanted the support they couldn’t get it there. And that is why it is hard because a lot of them don’t know or they really just don’t want it sometimes. And you know, at the same time, I send everything in English and Spanish home, which is twice the work for me because I'm translating everything twice. And you know, the same with both families, if they want the information and the resources I'm here to give it. But not everyone wants it. So I think in terms of what the schools do, you know, what the district is providing, I think this is like above and beyond. But that is just my feeling on it.
TM: Yeah, because I know I grew up in NC and my school system had nothing like this.
NL: Nothing compared to this. It is absolutely amazing everything that they provide. And like the amount of books that I'm able to send home, it’s just--
TM: And just from my experience, just the School Reading Partners, that they have all the same resources just the same as English, and how--
NL: And that is new, it hasn't always been that way. Every year it is getting better. There are more and more books. So that is always a plus.
TM: So this area is really--it is at the top of the game for everything.
NL: I think it is hard to compare to somewhere like this.
TM: So what about you, I know you talked about the meeting that you guys just had about making one big school. Do you think that would be more effective? Is that more--I know you said it would be really helpful to at least maybe have 2 classrooms at each school, or--and so just talk about that a little bit.
NL: Yeah well I think one of my biggest troubles is finding books on topics in Spanish. And our library is beautiful and huge, but the Spanish section is like two bookshelves compared to 20 or 30 bookshelves that are all English. So if we all came together and we had all the Spanish books together it would just be so great to just like walk in there and be like "Oh I need all the books on the ocean in Spanish." Like right now, first grade is doing oceans too so I couldn’t get any of the books, just because the resources aren't enough because there is only one. So they don't want to get all these Spanish books when it is just one track. And then working with other teachers would be nice so--cause Kindergarten they all plan together but because my classroom is different and I can't go at the pace that they go, because my kids are not only learning a word, let’s say, or a concept, they are learning it in two languages. So you have to go slower. So we do a lot more projects and like hand motions and body motions to try and like help them remember these words. So I basically plan myself, which is okay, but I think having that collaboration would be a lot better. And just, you know, take a lot of pressure off one teacher to do it all.
TM: Yeah. Cause its hard. It is really hard. Do you think though, say that you did end up having a completely dual language school would that then take away from Scroggs and the experience of other people at Scroggs?
NL: Yeah. I mean yeah, that was the whole other part because that leaves Scroggs a very white school.
TM: Yeah. A very white, kind of--
NL: Wealthy.
TM: Wealthy upper class school.
NL: Well they're saying like they will redistrict so there will be a lot more African Americans here and any of the Hispanic students who don't get in with the lottery, because at that point it will be a lottery because not all the Hispanics will be able to go to the school because it'll be a 50/50. So the rest of them would come here. So there would still be some--
TM: And everyone in the whole district would be applying to the lottery?
NL: For that one school. Yeah.
TM: So would that increase the number of people in the dual-language program??
NL: I’m not sure what the numbers of that will be. It is not going to happen next year; they are saying it will happen in two years. And actually it came out to the public today. Like this afternoon. Like I might have emails about--like parents freaking out.
TM: Oh cool! That is cool that it is actually probably going to happen. This shows that--
NL: And yeah, I don't think anyone really knows the answer to what is best, you know, because there are just questions about everywhere. So even here the reading specialist, she can't help dual language because she doesn't speak Spanish. But if it was all in one place they could have reading specialists who spoke Spanish. And then they could push into your classroom and help your lowest kids, you know. So just little things like that.
TM: Yeah. So I guess there is--yeah. So you're just trying to figure out what is the best?
NL: And I'm applying for jobs in Nashville because I might be moving there and there is only one Spanish school there and it is that model. So they have one Spanish dual language school and the rest are all regular. And apparently works really well there, so maybe it'll work here too.
TM: Yeah, that would be really cool. Okay well, I think that is about it. Thank you so much for ( ) agreeing to meet with me.
NL: Yeah.
TM: It was really helpful and I'll make sure and let you know how the project goes and give you a link to it or something like that. Yeah.
NL: Yeah. Okay.