She was one of the last few students in the cafeteria finishing breakfast. A brand new kindergartner, she was doing OK until she tried to peel her banana. She spoke right up, asking for help. She chatted with the teacher a bit in fluent English before getting back to the business of breakfast. She ran into problems again trying to open her cereal and milk carton. She remembered to raise her hand this time to ask for help. I was impressed with how well-spoken she was. Her coffee-with-cream skin, dark eyes and dark hair were clues to her Hispanic heritage. (Half of our new kindergartners are Hispanic, and nearly 100% of them are ELLs.) As she was leaving, I told her that she spoke English very well, and I asked her if she spoke Spanish, too.
“Yes, I do,” she answered.
“You are one smart cookie!” I said.
“I’m a cookie?!?” she giggled, as if that was the funniest thing she ever heard. She took what I said quite literally!