Site Meter

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I always like the foreigners best

Yesterday evening after work I had to go to one of the local high schools to do some student interviews with next year's prospective college students. I can't say I really felt like doing the interviewing; it was cold and dark and raining and I would far rather have gone straight home to the family. Most of the interviews were either boring (straight A students who know exactly what they want to study) or frustrating (students with unrealistic expectations - E in Maths at GCSE, wants to do Maths and Physics at A level). But one girl really touched me. She was there without a parent or guardian - unusual, since the norm is that students come to the interview with a parent. She and her mother had arrived in this country two years ago not speaking a word of English (she was Polish) but her English was already excellent. She's clearly clever - she had a very good set of predicted grades - and she also seemed far more mature than most girls her age. Very poised, very adult. We spent a long time chatting about her subject choices, and her experiences here, and she told me - but not in a self-pitying way - how hard it was for her at school, being foreign, not having friends, struggling to get to grips with a new culture - and how much she was looking forward to making a new start at college. It just broke my heart... I hope she settles in well at college, and that she finds a friendship group... Kids can be so clique-y... Unfortunately she didn't choose my subject so I won't be teaching her next year. But I'll keep an eye out for her..

No comments: