Reading Students' Invisible Subtitles

pencil poemOften, English learners disappear in their classrooms and don't feel connected to their peers or teachers. Sometimes they are mislabeled as being disengaged or uncaring. Frequently, they are carrying burdens and hurt we don't know about. These barriers can be crippling – but with skillful teaching strategies, they can be transformed.

As a new high school teacher, Grace Dearborn found out that when she reacted to challenging situations with frustration or anger, it rarely helped. A few years into teaching, she realized that using compassion to teach her high school students school-appropriate behavior created a major shift in classroom dynamics. She started to see happier and more engaged students.   

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Assets-Based Introduction to Language Acquisition

Jan Bautista, District Coach TSA and Certified Elementary ELD Presenter,
San Francisco Unified School District
Guest bloggerGA 3 6 BEI W4 L2a

When we meet some of our multilingual learners in the 6th grade, they have had a few years with the stigma of being an English learner and being "stuck" in an ELD class. At San Francisco Unified, we have been embracing the work of Zaretta Hammond's Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain and strive to spend the first two weeks of the school year building relationships with our students and getting to know them to help them become unstuck.

The Art of Getting Along Elementary Systematic ELD Instructional Unit is definitely a great way to start this. We also make plenty of time for community circles, using translation support from peers and Google to allow students the safety of expressing themselves as they are.

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