Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I’m a soft-spoken person.

I have even been called a low speaker, to the effect that people don’t hear me. In fact, several times a day, I will be behind someone who suddenly turns around, throws her hand to her chest, and says: “Oh my God! You scared me!” Sometimes I'm just walking into the room. It could be a teacher or a student. I’m really not trying to sneak up on anyone, so maybe I’m scary, too.

Perhaps that’s why I like to write. No one hears what I say, but they should be able to read what I write, right? Or so I thought. Here's what happened:

Our county automatically adds a line below our signature. So if you work in my school system, you have the following under every email:

After the first week of school we had an ESOL Team meeting, during which we learned that English to Speakers of Other Languages would now be called ELA, English Language Acquisition. And ELL’s (English Language Learners) were now called EL’s (English Learners). Never mind that all of our official, government-mandated documents still say ESOL and ELL.

I recalled my time in grad school when I had to learn all of these different acronyms. And then the past six years when I’ve told someone I’m an ESOL teacher and he/she’s replied: “Oh! You mean ESL?”

So I changed my signature to include this message.

by the way, these are all official ESOL acronyms

The thing is that I changed my signature at the beginning of September! Nobody noticed. I've been really sad about it, but I decided I wouldn't tell everyone – that’s part of what makes it funny! It’s just there, slyly underneath every communication I send out.

Finally, FINALLY, someone did notice. The prize goes to Sonja Norwood, our new ELA specialist! (though if you met her in July, she had the very different title of ESOL specialist)

Thank you for the recognition, Sonja!

For everyone else, sorry if that snuck up on you.