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Collaborating with other teachers
Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:48 am
Every teacher wants to help their students but it seems that some draw the line when it comes to students that have more barriers to their learning than others. Others may want to help ELLs in their class but don't know how to go about doing that. As ESL teachers part of the job is to collaborate with others and see how to better help the students improve so that the language barrier can be broken down. When it comes to working with teachers on their own lessons and also getting the appropriate support needed in your ESL classroom, what advice does anyone have? How can you get teachers to take ELLs into account when creating lessons to better help the students without stepping on the teachers' toes?
Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:17 pm
I currently teach ESL, and I am in a graduate TESOL program as well. It has been my desire to support my students more in their difficult content area classes. It so happens that one of my graduate class assignments was to interview a content area instructor to find how I could best support her/him in educating our ELL's.
I found them at a quiet time time in the last couple of weeks (tough to find!), and I was pleasantly surprised that the two high school English teachers were very open to expressing what they need from me as a support teacher (I think they felt that I was looking to assist them and not to add to their already heavy loads). I also asked if I could have a list of the readings for the upcoming year and their curriculum. They were happy to e-mail me that information as in our school we have to keep our curriculum updated and in a digital company folder. The third teacher, a high school history teacher, was not as helpful. He does not have any of his curriculum stored digitally, and while he was open to my supporting his instruction, he was not interested in giving me any information ahead of time so that I could get some work done over the summer.
I hope to work hard this summer on writing supporting curriculum with the information I do have, and to be able to catch up on the history in the fall.
As far as teachers making accommodations for ELL's, I often just check in with them as to how the student is doing in the teacher's class. If not well, I suggest different methods to work with said student. Some teachers are open to this and others, not so much. But no one wants a student to fail, so they usually will adjust in time. It is the ESL teacher's job not only to support her students' education and to advocate for them, but also to do it in a way that wins hearts and effects change. A big job, but the rewards are worth it.
I feel you...
Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:07 am
I am constantly trying to navigate this territory. I feel that the hardest part of my job is finding a way to teach in an inclusion class successfully. I always fear that I might "step on toes" or give the wrong impression. It's especially difficult when you are a planner (me) and the content teacher is not.
Have you had any luck with this?