English please!

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One of my laughs for the week:

I ran into a former colleague, an excellent science teacher. I asked her how she was doing. She’s fine except her district moved her into a different position. She’s teaching English now.

Ummm… I respect this woman greatly, but English is not her first language.

“How’s that going?” I asked.
“I don’t know how to teach no English,” she answered, laughing.

I hope she was being ironic. I pray she was being ironic. The scary part is that I’m not sure.

Eduhonesty: This woman will do at least an adequate job. She’s a hard-working professional who cares about the kids. But this placement is silly. English teachers should be native speakers of the language who have passed a rigorous qualifying test. I’d take nonnative speakers who can pass that same test. I don’t believe my colleague could pass the test I visualize. The same is true for a fair number of bilingual teachers of my acquaintance. The ability to speak Spanish does not prepare anyone to teach English.

Sigh. She ain’t gonna do much harm, I guess. If she don’t know too much hard English, she does know how to use a textbook and present a lesson. She’s actually very bright. I can’t say the same about the people in her district office who were in charge of placing the professionals within their schools.