FEATURES FOR TEACHERS
Features For New Teachers
Volume 2, Issue 24
Text messaging has become one of the most popular ways for students to communicate. It has a language of its own such as r for our and u for you. This form of communication happens anywhere they want through cell phones or computers. It can happen anywhere and at any time.
We need to decide how to handle it. Should we control it or make
adjustments in our classes to integrate it into what we do? We live in
the midst of a changing world, probably similar to what people felt like
when the industrial revolution came along. This change takes a number of
years as everyone adjusts. If we are going to prepare the students for
their world we need to make some changes in our present world.
We need to decide how to handle it. Should we control it or make adjustments in our classes to integrate it into what we do? We live in the midst of a changing world, probably similar to what people felt like when the industrial revolution came along. This change takes a number of years as everyone adjusts. If we are going to prepare the students for their world we need to make some changes in our present world.
We grew up with communication being letter writing and phone calls.
Today we have e-mail, cell phones, text messaging, blogging, podcasting,
video podcasting, video conferencing, and who knows what else around the
We grew up with communication being letter writing and phone calls. Today we have e-mail, cell phones, text messaging, blogging, podcasting, video podcasting, video conferencing, and who knows what else around the corner.
In the past, to become an author, you had to get a book or article
published by a publisher. Today, anyone can publish on the internet. To
make movies you had to be a professional. Now anyone can make a movie
with easy to use software and upload it to the web.
In the past, to become an author, you had to get a book or article published by a publisher. Today, anyone can publish on the internet. To make movies you had to be a professional. Now anyone can make a movie with easy to use software and upload it to the web.
So what does this mean to us as educators? Can we continue to do things
the same old way, or is it time that education took a leading role in
preparing students for their future? It might take a learning curve on
our part, but if students are suppose to learn to be life long learners,
we should become their role models.
So what does this mean to us as educators? Can we continue to do things the same old way, or is it time that education took a leading role in preparing students for their future? It might take a learning curve on our part, but if students are suppose to learn to be life long learners, we should become their role models.
You may believe that I started out trained, certified, and with some experience with ESOL kids, or different cultures, but you would be incorrect. My first experience occurred in the second year of my teaching career when the Hispanic Kindergarten teacher next to me came to my room, and asked me to take the new student assigned to her class. He spoke only Japanese. She said, “I teach Spanish. I don’t know what to do with him.” Of course, neither did I, but I took him anyway.
I had no teaching experience with
other cultures, or teaching English to others, but I had always loved
history, cultures, and languages and their people. I taught the young
boy that year for Kindergarten and his younger brother the following
year, and learned “by the seat of my pants”. His parent invited me
to dinner before they left to return to
Later, the next year, my district paid for twelve additional college course hours for my training in linguistics. I received my certification through training, not a test. To be fair to the district I worked in, they had little to no experience with ESOL students and their families. But when faced with an influx of students, they did the right thing and paid for training for their teachers. As unprepared and as untrained as I was initially, some situations I see occurring now are even worse. Usually they begin with districts unwilling to spend the money and time on training and preparing teachers properly, and teachers resentful of the extra burden from students who may need more than the teacher can supply.
Additionally, even though there is additional work, preparation, and training required for ESOL teachers, few teachers receive stipends. I have even heard some ridiculous folks say “Anyone can teach ESOL. It is simply good teaching.”
No, not just anyone can teach ESOL. It demands training and preparation. You needed a certified math teacher for your math classes; you need trained and certified personnel for one of the most important jobs in public school: teaching English and literacy.
So I will offer to you my Five
Principles of Teaching ESOL Students, gained from twenty plus years
working with these students and their families, my training, and my
professional development and reading. This is certainly the short and
sweet version—honed down for this article.
FIVE PRINCIPLES FOR TEACHING ENGLISH TO ESOL STUDENTS
FIRST PRINCIPLE: Remember that they are scared to death, may cry, may vomit, tremble, run away, throw temper tantrums, or not speak for a year, OR MORE. You get the idea.
1. Be loving, patient, welcoming, smile, and be friendly.
2. Discuss compassion and empathy with your students beforehand.
3. Create a learning environment that encourages success for everyone.
4. Help them make friends.
5. 80% of communication is nonverbal, so you can communicate. Use nodding heads, hand signs, pictures, mime.
6. If you resent the child, (or the extra work he/she requires) he/she will know.
7. Art and drawing are the first written universal languages of communication--begin there, and use it as a tool to gaining language.
8. Play, fun, games, and laughter are universal childhood pathways to learning--
be smart and use them to your advantage to teach ESOL learners.
SECOND PRINCIPLE: Fear can paralyze anyone. Risk for a child might mean shame and humiliation in front of their friends, peers, family, and teacher, or school.
1. Keep the task small, manageable, and successful. (90% successful-10% risk- especially at first)
2. Nodding approval, smiling, “good job”, clapping, etc. show approval and offer reward and success for students. Most of them want to learn and are desperate for approval.
3. Create a low-risk classroom where risks are encouraged and applauded, failures are minimized as paths to learning, and everyone helps each other learn, by respecting the process and each other.
4. Encourage collaborative learning. It lightens your load and creates synergy for learning. Learning is then the responsibility of everyone, and everyone is responsible for each other’s learning. Besides, remember the adage that the best way to learn something is to teach it?
THIRD PRINCIPLE: Teach vocabulary, writing, and reading together and keep it simple.
FOURTH PRINCIPLE: Learning the alphabet, phonic sounds, and how to combine those sounds into simple words is a basic foundation for linguistic mastery. Spelling simple words (from word families) is essential to reading, writing, and speaking English. I recommend that you read Richard Gentry’s “Teaching Kids to Spell” for valuable information on this.
FIFTH PRINCIPLE: Be
respectful in every way of other cultures, their customs, beliefs and
values, or food, especially when they differ from yours, the schools, or
My experience with other cultures and
ESOL students has been one of the greatest rewards of my teaching
career. I have learned so much, and my experiences have deepened my
interests in all cultures and their histories. The more I have learned
about other people and their history, the more respect I feel for
different cultures; and it helps me realize that
Are you inspired by your greatest talents and strengths? Do you apply your intuitions, talents, and personality traits to your everyday teaching? Are YOU in your teaching? This book helps you to identify your strengths and balance them with skills and knowledge necessary for student success in your classroom.
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Have you read Teach with Your Strengths: How Great Teachers Inspire Their Students? Do you have comments you’d like to share with our readers about this book? Email your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please type in BOOK CLUB READER RESPONSE in the subject line. Responses will be posted on our website with the StarTeaching Book of the Month Club. All responses will be proofread, and may be edited for content and space before publication.
Once upon a time there was a leafy tree in a field. Leaves grew densely on the tall branches. The roots were deeply into the ground. The tree was the most remarkable among the rest.
The tree then became the home for some birds. They built their nests and they lived on his branches. The birds made holes on him, and they hatched their eggs within the greatness of the tree. The tree felt so delighted because he was accompanied as he walked through his long lasting days.
People were grateful for the presence of the tree. They often came over and sheltered under him. Under his branches, they sat down and opened their picnic baskets. “This tree is very useful,” that’s what the people said every time they went home from shelter. The tree was very proud hearing those compliments.
However, time went on. The tree was beginning to be sick. His leaves and twigs were falling, then his body became thin and pale. The greatness he used to have was fading away. Birds felt reluctant to build their nests there. No one would come to sit under the tree to shelter anymore.
The tree wept, “Oh God, why is it so hard for me? I need friends. Now no one would come close to me. Why do you take all the glory I used to have?” The tree cried loudly, so it echoed throughout the forest. “Why wouldn’t you cut me down, so I don’t have to bear this suffering?” The tree kept on crying, and his tears were running down his dry body.
Seasons came and went, but his condition had not changed. The tree was still feeling lonely. His branches became drier and drier. Every night the tree wept and cried, until the morning broke.
“Cheep...chirp....cheep” Ah, what was that noise? Oh, it’s a little baby bird who has just pipped from the egg. The old tree woke up from his daydream.
“Cheep...chirp...cheep”, the noise became louder and louder. There was another baby bird. Not long after that, the tree became noisy because of the birth of new baby birds. One...two...three...and four baby birds have been born to this world. “Ah, He has answered my prayers,” exclaimed the old tree.
The day after, there were many birds flying to the old tree. They were going to build new nests. The dry branches have turned out to attract their attention to nest there. The birds felt warmer to stay inside the dry branches instead of their place before. The number of birds was increasing and there were more kinds of them. “Wow, now my days are brighter with their presence here”, murmured the old tree gladly.
The old tree was back to cheer again. And when he looked down, his heart was flowing with joy. There was a new little tree growing near his roots. The new tree seemed to smile at him. The tears of the old tree has grown a little tree who would continue his devotion to nature.
Dear friends, that’s the way it is. Is there any lesson that we could take from the story? God always has secret plans for us. The Almighty God will always gives answers to our questions. Even though it is not always easy to guess what the resolution is, be certain that the Omniscient God knows what’s best for us.
When there are times He sends temptation for us, in other times He gives us His overflowing blessings. The test He gives us isn’t something that can’t be overcome. When God gave the temptation to the old tree, actually He DELAYED in giving His glory. God didn’t choose to cut the old tree down since He kept some secrets. God was testing his patience.
So, dear friends, be sure, whatever temptation we are facing is a part of the chain of glory He is preparing for us. Don’t give up, and don’t be discouraged. God is always there beside patient people.
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Designing and Running a Medieval Fair
Technology & Teaching: Setting up for Handhelds
Holiday Ideas to Share
Expanding Your Writing Program
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