Years ago (1993-2001), I taught in an innovative school that was K-3 and multi-age with 80% of the students in the ESL program and 100% within the school system's designation of poverty level. I loved my school and I especially loved my teaching team (many of whom are still my friends today). Our principal encouraged us to think outside the box. We had so much freedom and the students thrived. One of the creative solutions from that school was the creation of a teacher position called the "Teacher Without Walls". See, we had funding for more teachers, but no space to create more classrooms. The Teachers Without Walls joined forces with the large ESL team and we traveled from classroom to classroom, pushing in, setting up small group rotations, coordinating efforts.
Our current times reminded me of this experience. We always said, there's opportunity in chaos. We are all now teachers without walls. So, how do we make the...
**WARNING: This blog is chock full of my own (pretty confident) opinions. :-) I welcome any and all conversation and varying opinions on this topic.**
Since returning to a classroom environment on a more regular basis, I've been reminded how fast the content is delivered and the pace of new terms, new concepts, and new activities. Having not spoken Spanish, biology, geometry, or theater in quite some time, I know my brain's tired at the end of the day!
Last week's blog about newcomers prompted a flurry of follow-up questions about grading. This topic comes up a lot!
Last week I talked about newcomers getting about 20% of what happens in the classroom and a bit more with supports and a slower pace. This isn't a research based number. This is what I've seen...
As we settle into second semester, a new batch of content teachers are working with groups of beginning English learners in their classes. It's an uncomfortable feeling for both teachers and the students. What are the expectations? What are the processes in this class? What's most important?
Research and experience tells us that our beginning English learners need time, exposure, experiences, and direct language instruction. BUT....the reality is we don't have extended time. We have one semester to conquer this content. All of these students need something a little different, yet there is only one you. Where do you start??
While I have no magic bullet, here's where I recommend all content teachers begin their quest to make their content accessible and their students successful.
1. Relationships - Smile. Let your students know you care. Be honest. Tell them you aren't exactly sure what's best but, together you...