Help? - New Teacher with 3 Schools teaching ESL - ProTeacher Community




Home Join Now Search My Favorites
Help


      ESL/LEP

Help? - New Teacher with 3 Schools teaching ESL

>

Reply
 
Thread Tools
MissScoobyFan's Avatar
MissScoobyFan MissScoobyFan is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3
New Member

MissScoobyFan
 
MissScoobyFan's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3
New Member
Help? - New Teacher with 3 Schools teaching ESL
Old 09-08-2009, 06:53 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #1

Hi,

I just wondered if anyone has any recommendations for me. I am a first year teacher who was hired and was supposed to fill a maternity leave before they put me in my schools. I was unexpectedly switched last week to my 3 schools, thus I haven't had time to formulate much of anything, including long-term lesson plans. I have two middle schools and one K - 8 school. I feel like I am just sinking deep into quicksand. I don't have time to do anything during the day so I am stuck doing things at night. I try to not bring it home on the weekend but it's hard. I was wondering if anyone could give me pointers on what to do to keep me from being quite as stressed. I do realize it's my first year and there will be a lot of stress, but this just seems like quite a lot at the moment.

Thanks!

P.S. Any help and recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


MissScoobyFan is offline   Reply With Quote

MissESL MissESL is offline
 
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 2,767
Senior Member

MissESL
 
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 2,767
Senior Member
You...are Me!
Old 09-09-2009, 08:27 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #2

Except I have two schools, a 4-6 and a 7-8. I am at the 4-6 in the morning and the 7-8 in the afternoon.

Here is what I suggest:
Group by grade, not necessarily ability level. I say this because it is likely each grade will have a time they are all in their classrooms, making it easy to pull the kids. They tend to be at relatively the same spot as they teach the same curriculum, so this can help, too. By the 4th grade, I have become more of a resource unless there are non speakers. Therefore, I don't plan. I teach them what they are learning in the classroom. By this, I mean, they come in with their subject, say they do science during their ESL slot. Teaching language through content based learning is very popular and can be very effective. Use the subject at hand--science--to teach students vocabulary, reading strategies, and give students opportunities to develop conversation skills. Often teachers want students to keep up with what they are doing in class. In this way, it can be very difficult to schedule; they don't want students 'missing' anything. With this method, teachers are able to tell you what they are doing, give you the worksheets or materials and have you give the student extra support, go slower, or even make accommodations. If you have 5 kids in one grade, spread in between two or three classrooms, ask permission to follow ONE classroom's schedule. If you have only one kid or all kids are in the same class, you can even offer to push-in, and go into the classroom to work one-on-one with those students! Just make sure you're clear that you are there for the specific students, not to be an aide for the class. If you have non-speakers, schedule them in their own slot for awhile so you can focus on them and their needs. These are things I go for the 4-6.

At the 7-8 level, I actually teach an ESL class. I focus on English skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. I do so loosely, especially at first, so students are made comfortable. I don't do too much assessing. We read short stories from reading series at all levels (I have borrowed from third through eighth grade level reading for this--use resources, i.e. other teachers!). We work specifically on grammar and writing starting second quarter. The first quarter I have them do free journals on Wednesdays. We go outside, I give them topics, they choose their own, we take a walk through the building, I show them pictures...they have ten minutes to write what they want to. I read them, correct them, but just give five points if they try. Then starting second quarter, I begin to grade them seriously as we delve into the areas their journals have shown me they need work in, such as punctuation or past tense verbs, for example. We have a weekly spelling list formed around ISAT words. We use a word wall for these lists. With each spelling list, we end the week with a dictation instead of a test, to work on listening skills. We also do speaking discussions (I have used Touchy Situations book) or about big topics or even as little as talking about what we did last weekend. We do a solar system unit (it's at least somewhat familiar), study MLK Jr., talk about the environment, celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Women in History, and other themes (about one a month each taking about a week). Then we do projects. They've built their own solar systems, done family timelines, written poetry, made advertisements, designed a home in 2D, written speeches, interviewed other teachers.

I know that seems made up as I went along, and as a curriculum it was. I have it ordered very nicely now and very logically, too. When I got to my school(s), I had no resources. They had not had a steady ESL teacher in five years. I had to gather materials, beg, borrow, steal...buy some new texts, materials, etc. I hope this helps you think of some things you can do.
MissESL is offline   Reply With Quote
MissScoobyFan's Avatar
MissScoobyFan MissScoobyFan is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3
New Member

MissScoobyFan
 
MissScoobyFan's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3
New Member
This does sound familiar!
Old 09-09-2009, 04:20 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #3

At my elementary school, I have 3 students, but only 2 I see, due to time constraints. He just needs more time than I have so my aide works with the little kindergartener. The others I see individually. The fifth grader I am primarily a resource too, but I have to do a lot of reading comprehension as well with him. The 2nd grader I teach his S.S. as this is what he misses when he is with me. I am also working with him on his reading as he is still at the kindergarten level.

With my 6-8, I teach content Language Arts. I have mostly 8th graders. We are doing grammar with the ones who only need writing for now, and my beginners are receiving a lot of work on picture dictionary workbook pages and reading help from my aide at one of the schools. The other works on starfall while I teach the others, and then I have her for reading/resource for a period. I have them write in journals every day, but I haven't been correcting them yet. I have only been there for 2 weeks now so I am trying to build trust before I become the grammar police.

I suppose I have just been very frustrated due to the abrupt nature of the switch, both personally with moving to the school system I work at within 1 and a half weeks of starting and professionally as I was expecting to fill the leave until November. Also, I am getting used to the differences between three schools. It has been a stretch for me to do all the lesson plans and not feel like that is all I am doing in the evenings. Also, I am having to come behind another teacher and switch my students slowly to myself only. I guess it just seems like I have little control of the moment of where I am at, so I guess that is my biggest frustration. That and constant lesson plans.

Thanks for the advice, I will be putting some of this into effect.
MissScoobyFan is offline   Reply With Quote
tyrex tyrex is online now
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,058
Senior Member

tyrex
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,058
Senior Member

Old 09-12-2009, 08:16 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #4

I'm only in 1 school so I can't imagine working with 3 schools.

I think that working at night or on weekends is inevitable as a first year teacher. Even as an experienced teacher I still have to work outside of school. I prefer staying late at school rather than bringing work home during the week. I do dedicate a few hours on Saturday mornings to lesson planning. Try to set a schedule for yourself, like that you will stay late on Tues and Thurs only. Or that you will bring work home only on Mon and Wed. If you can avoid doing work on weekends more power to you, but know that that is not the norm for a first year teacher.

Don't grade everything. Assess in ways that don't require you to grade a paper. You can ask questions and have students answer on little whiteboards and hold up their answer. You can assess their skills just as well as on a worksheet but you have no grading to do. Plus, the kids prefer using the whiteboards.

On the lesson plan front, get some routines going. That will help because if you have a warm-up routine, for example, then you know that it 5 or 10 minutes of class. Or if you have a journal routine then all you have to do is write down the prompt.

Maybe think about doing weekly lesson plans for one class each day. So on Mondays you plan for the 5th grader, on Tuesdays the LA class, etc. Once you are more used to the students' needs it will be easier to plan. Then try to plan a week at a time. Otherwise it takes so much time each day. And, frankly, I think weekly plans are better than daily plans because they force you to think about how different lessons fit together and how to scaffold what you do one day to fit into what you do another day.
tyrex is online now   Reply With Quote
MissScoobyFan's Avatar
MissScoobyFan MissScoobyFan is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3
New Member

MissScoobyFan
 
MissScoobyFan's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3
New Member
Lesson plans
Old 09-14-2009, 05:55 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #5

I do weekly lesson plans because that is what my principals require, well, 2 of the 3 anyway. I have just been doing them on Wednesday and Thursday nights. On Sunday, I spend a couple of hours doing worksheets and such to get ready for the week. But that is all I typically spend on a weekend. I try hard to get everything done so my weekends are free, so I can visit with my family. It doesn't always work but nothing ever does I'm afraid. As for the whiteboards, I love the idea, but my schools have next to nothing in the way of materials so this has been make up as I go. Maybe I can get some soon though.

Thanks for the advice. It helps.


MissScoobyFan is offline   Reply With Quote
tyrex tyrex is online now
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,058
Senior Member

tyrex
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,058
Senior Member

Old 09-16-2009, 04:39 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #6

You can make your own whiteboards very cheaply. At Lowe's or Home Depot you can buy a sheet of something called shower board or cabinet board. They can cut it for you or you can cut it yourself if you have a power saw. Then sand the edges or put electrical tape around the edges. It cost me under $20 for a class set that has held up very well.
tyrex is online now   Reply With Quote

Join the conversation! Post as a guest or become a member today. New members welcome!

Reply

 

>
ESL/LEP
Thread Tools




Sign Up Now

Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:41 PM.

Copyright © 2017 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net