Former middle school teacher says older students aren’t getting the reading help they need


It’s been years since I was a Los Angeles middle school teacher, but I still remember my students as if they were in my classroom yesterday.

There was sweet Alberto with the mischievous grin that made me wonder how sweet he really was, and shy Sara who stuffed notes of appreciation into my hands and ran away before I’d have the chance to thank her. There was please-let-me-help Milena, who always wanted to sweep, pass out papers or put books away. (I changed the names of my students to protect their identities.)

Lately, I’ve been thinking about another student. Francisco was a big kid. He was bigger than most of the other sixth graders, since he was a year older. His personality was equally large. You always knew when Francisco had entered the classroom.



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