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This video was outstanding.

I wonder if  can get my creators to start thinking about social justice…

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Man, this has been a tough year. And we’re not even halfway through.395513826

Teachers in my district voted to go on strike. It lasted for four days. And that created a huge work stoppage in my class.

We hadn’t even finished a full week of school when this hit. And I’ve been struggling ever since.

My students are primarily former refugees, who now are trying to make their way in the U.S. school system. The problem is that most were not fully literate in their own languages when they came here. The theory of transfer has a tough time taking hold in our school.

So the secret disguised goal of my introduction to computers class–which I’m teaching for the first time ever to offset the great inequity of a lack of training for late arrivers subjected to a 1:1 program (what Alan November refers to as a “$1000 pencil” initiative)–is to teach what the my department lovingly calls “schooliness.”

Schooliness is the package of behaviors that help students succeed. These skills include:

  • showing up on time and attending regularly.
  • taking notes.
  • using English when possible while still taking risks to expand academic capabilities.
  • relying on first languages to negotiate meaning, then returning to the target language.
  • advocating for themselves in social and academic situations.
  • understanding how to find meanings of unknown words.
  • doing homework.
  • being self-sufficient and self-driven.

And I’ve been working with my little group to do this. Yet when I had to go home sick yesterday, I could tell they, for the most part, had done little to nothing relating to classwork.

So it’s time to put on my hard hat (heart hat) and start handing out invitations to stay after school, because I love them so much and don’t want them to fall behind.

At the end of last year, my colleagues and I talked about handing out heart-shaped detention slips. Not because we want to be punitive, but because we want them to succeed.

I’m to present on my experiment at #TESOL18, on an intersection panel. I wish I had great things to report about upending student apathy. I feel as though I have learned a lot from this experience of taking on this new class and new challenge, I also feel like I’m not quite there…

 

15 minutes of fame…

Source: https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/schools-see-declining-enrollment-in-ell-programs/Content?oid=7671279

I’m in the newspaper this week! Check it out!

In a nutshell

I just saw this on NPR’s website. If there ever is a time as an EL teacher that you try to explain what you do, this might be a good way to show… check it out at https://goo.gl/C2mtqd

 

helmet-158268_640.pngSometime this spring, I applied for a scholarship to be part of the 40-Hour Teacher Workweek Club, a professional development club created by Angela Watson.

I am a workaholic. I work all the time. I ignore my family a lot. I love my job and I wish I could do it better. But I need to spend more time with my little family before my girls grow up and leave the nest. No matter how much I really want to do my job well.

I don’t know if I can work 40 hours. I work a lot. A lot a lot. Even when I’m sleeping.

My friend Mary told me this morning that maybe I could cut down to a 60-hour workweek.

Next week I’m going on vacation. So maybe I can put it on hold for that. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’m going to set my brain to work on prepping for an easy peasy start to the new year, despite teaching a new class and trying to flip the content. (That means putting the lecture outside school hours so we can focus on practice in class. More time for students to get the help they need!)

We’ll see, we’ll see.

It’s a lofty goal.

New-Americans-swimming-YMCA-Bishop-20170612In my first full-time job in Burlington, VT, I was teaching alongside a colleague who taught me much.

Here’s a story about her class and how they are learning about swimming. It’s the same program that brought my YES class to the Y. She’s been bringing little ones to the Y for quite some time, through a program that teaches water safety to 2nd-graders.

I can’t wait to see where this goes… for both of us. Take a chance to listen.

It truly does take a village.

Who knew?

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ipledgeafallegiance

When will we ever learn?: Common sense and nonsense about today's public schools in America.

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