(HOUSTON) — “Non, je ne parle pas Français,” is what one substitute high school teacher in Texas might say to his students — though he is supposed to be teaching them French language.
When Energy Institute High School in Houston, Texas parted ways with their staff French teacher in December, they didn’t have another teacher qualified to teach the language. They had to hire someone to run the class on short notice and the school district sent them a substitute who does not speak, let alone teach, French language.
The former teacher of the class, Jean Cius, said his students were doing well in French before he left the school. Although he doesn’t believe it’s the new teacher’s fault that he doesn’t know French, he doesn’t believe he’s a good fit for teaching the class.
“If you are a long-term sub, you have to be knowledgeable of the subject,” he said. “You can’t be a sub for longer than two or three months and not be knowledgeable.”
But the substitute now in charge of the class, Albert Moyer, defends his position saying he has to be flexible. In a personal blog post, Moyer added that because he is an associate teacher he is not required to be certified in the subject.
“My job is to be as qualified as I can in an emergency wherever I am placed,” he wrote in the post. “I have had numerous assignments in all subjects.”
Nathaniel White is a student in Moyer’s class and said he likes him as a teacher, but the class works on fill in the blank worksheets in order to learn the material.
White’s mother, Sharonda White, said she doesn’t blame Moyer, but her Nathaniel is not learning the foreign language like he should be. She believes the school should be doing more to help the situation.
“It’s not his fault that he’s there. The school should do a better job at finding someone who is qualified.”
Jason Spencer of Houston Independent School District (HISD)said the school has been trying to find a qualified instructor but there is a shallow pool of candidates.
“It can often become a difficult task to find certified foreign language teachers, in the middle of the academic school year, to fill the needs of the district. Effective French teachers are especially hard to come by,” officials from the HISD said in a statement. “The district continues its efforts to hire talented foreign language teachers to instruct HISD students. HISD strives to ensure all students have access to an education that will help ensure they are successful academically and ready to complete in a global econom
With one month left in the school year, Spencer says Moyer will still be in charge of the school’s French class unless a permanent replacement is found.
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