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natalya
 
 
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natalya
 
 
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working with homeroom teachers
Old 09-10-2011, 03:57 PM
 
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Hi ESL/ESOL teachers. How do you "help" homeroom teachers who don't have a clue how to reach English language learners? I want to give them advice on how to work with ESOL kids, but I think they are not open to learning new things from me. How do you finesse this situation? What has worked in your school? Thanks in advance for your response!!!


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gloves2teach gloves2teach is offline
 
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touchy subject
Old 09-12-2011, 06:54 AM
 
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I have to say that I was slightly offended by the wording of your post. You're right I don't have a clue how to reach these students. This is not my area of expertise. I do not speak (in my case) Spanish. I have asked my ESL teacher for help several times and all she does is print articles on how to teach these students. I don't have time to read a bunch of articles. I need resources. Where can I find picture cards that relate to the vocabulary we use in the classroom? She wants me to make all these extra materials and I do not feel this is my job. I feel like her job is help adapt my curriculum to a level which my student can most easily benefit. This is a touchy subject for me because I do not feel as though my ESL teacher is doing her job. We are beginning week 3 and she hasn't even spoken to my student but one time. That time she asked her her name. Then turned to me and said "she'll be fine." Today my student was in tears because I wanted her to match pictures to spanish/english words. I'm annoyed because I don't know what she is capable of and I can't speak to her to find out what she understands. I'm sorry to take this out on you but I came here to find help and stumbled on your post first. I think the best advice is simply to ask the homeroom teacher. In my case, it's not that I am unwilling to learn new things. I just don't need piles of articles to read and nothing to help my student.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:07 AM
 
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Not signed in because I am at school -- I am MissESL.
I, too, teach ESL. I, too, find it hard to work with gen ed teachers much of the time. It's easy to feel that way, because we have different job descriptions. But I also found out it is because we don't communicate well. They don't know my rules and I don't know theirs (in terms of laws or what testing or teaching needs to be done). We both also value our teaching time that it can make us selfish! So I make sure to encourage student participation for reasonable thinge (i.e. movies, labs, centers, interactive projects, etc.) that let them SHOW mroe than WRITE what they know. (BTW, pp....those articles DO help -- your ESL person is trying to educate you! S/he can't always spend their time custom making materials for you -- but she can point you in the right direction. For low students, I really suggest learning chocolate. It has drill and listening for several basic units).

So this year I sat down with the teachers and gave them a copy of the student's test scores, along with CANDO descriptors (wida state here) and I flagged at each level what they could expect each individual to be able to do. I cautioned them that it may be wise to start expecting the step below and then work up to expecting the step above, so that students begin in a comfortable zone, then become challenged and pushed. I also tell teacher that student who are fulltime (i.e. 3.0 or less on ACCESS scale) should not be graded on what they don't do, but on what they can. This means that if you expect five worksheets to be done, only expect the ESL student to do 2, and try to give extended time for it. I usually wait a week or two -- then, I am able to give a rundown of what I have observed about the student and the teacher also has time to observe the student. I give them a list of quick and easy things they can do (Reading A-Z, LEARNING CHOCOLATE (.com), sight words database, even supplying notecards and a list of words spanish = english that they can use to label their classroom. I have a textbook in Spanish for each grade level and often hand them over. I advise them to find a buddy if at all possible -- and that person should speak their language. ESL has so few resources, I often direct teachers to the principal for brand new students, because teachers can request on one on one bilingual aide for students but it is a well kept secret!
The main thing is differentiation. Modify, modify, modify. Offer those articles, even as an aside (like to all teachers) because SO MANY OF THE THINGS IN THOSE ARTICLES CAN BE USED WITH ALL STUDENTS. This is a HUGE, TRUE selling point! SO many techniques we use with ESL students can so easily be used with any low to average student!
Good luck!
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:54 PM
 
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I really appreciate your reply MissESL. Thank you.

Last edited by daisyflower; 09-12-2011 at 02:37 PM..
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gloves2teach
Old 09-12-2011, 04:41 PM
 
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I totally understand your frustration, and, as an ESL teacher, I appreciate your point of view as to what you need from your ESL teacher. I am sorry that your ESL teacher hasn't been helping you as much as you need. In her defense though, we are not allowed to work with ELLs until they are tested for placement. If she were to come in to your classroom and work with the child or pull her out before the placement test, she could get in to trouble legally. She should let you know this though, and she could give you the resources you need without actually working with the child. Maybe the two of you can find a time to meet and discuss these things. I hope this works out because it sounds like the child in question really needs some assistance.


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appreciate the suggestions
Old 09-13-2011, 08:01 AM
 
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I do appreciate all the suggestions you've made Miss ESL. I want to make it clear that the only thing my ESL teacher has offered me is one article, the CAN DO descriptors, and a website full of other articles. While that may help to educate me, that does nothing for the student I am trying to teach. Over two weeks into school and she has spoken to my student just one time. When I asked when she would begin pulling my student she responded by telling me how hectic her schedule is, how she has to work on school things outside of school, and that she has two small children at home to take care of. I will admit that I was upset by these statements. I work two jobs, take care of two children and do lots of school work outside of school. As do many teachers that I know. I understand she has different requirements to follow, however like you stated I don't know what they are. I keep thinking that she must have some type of resources available in her classroom that I could page through. Anything that will allow my student to work at her level instead of sit in a daze and something that will not require me to spend hours online researching what I should be doing with her. I don't have time to finding materials for my other 17 students and her on top of it. I don't feel I should have to do EVERYTHING for this child....isn't that why there is an ESL teacher? I don't mind doing some work but she hasn't given me anything to work with. I appreciate the suggestions you and the other posters have made. I will look into those things.

I don't mean to come off sounding rude. I know everyone has their own requirements to complete. I just feel like I'm struggling and eager to help this child and no one at my school is giving me the guidance I need including the administration and the ESL teacher.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:21 AM
 
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"I feel like her job is help adapt my curriculum to a level which my student can most easily benefit. "

In response to gloves2teach's comment above - As an ESL teacher with students in K-6 our job is to teach our OWN curriculum. I do agree that a part of our job is to ASSIST you in coming up with strategies to help your students, but not to go through your lesson plans every week and modify it all FOR you. I know I have over 100 students in grades K-6 and that would be an unrealistic expectation of me.



In response to the original post, something I have just started this year is to have monthly information sessions in my classroom. This month's topic is "Understanding LAS Links and IIPs". We will have one meeting per month. I am going to try to entice the teachers by providing snacks and trying to come up with some free resources/prizes. Maybe you could ask your principal about doing this? It works well at my school because the kids get out at 2:30 and our contract time isn't up until 3:30 so I just hold the meetings after school. I know some schools aren't like this, so you could always try to hold meetings with teachers during their prep?
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informational sessions
Old 02-18-2017, 07:20 AM
 
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I would love to do some informational sessions in my classroom. I think that sounds like a fantastic idea. Would you be willing to share some of your ideas?
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