I found it interesting that of the three ELL teachers interviewed, only one had a personal ELL experience. This teacher teaches at my middle school. She moved here from Poland when she was nine years old. She didn’t know any English besides basic words like colors and days of the week. This personal experience can help her immensely, because she understands the experience of her students and the students can relate to her. This teacher is the only one who is bilingual of the three I interviewed. Interestingly, it is also two of the three teachers first year teaching ELL. These two educators were aides in the program before this teaching job, and they both received their endorsements from the IRC. The other elementary teacher has been teaching ELL for twenty years, and has lots of experience.
I was interested in how ELL teachers connect with their students of diverse backgrounds and cultures. Each said that they try to learn about the students’ cultures. The teachers all felt it was important to make a connection. They suggested taking interest in the student’s native language and home life, or having students share language, holiday traditions and foods. ELL teachers can also try to incorporate the different cultures to enrich their lessons.
I was a...
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...elementary teacher notices huge improvements with her young students. She sees how they gain confidence and language and because of her, participate and speak more in class. The upper elementary ELL teacher knows that these students require a lot of support. She feels like she really makes an impact. Her former students occasionally contact her to update her on their situation.
Teaching ELL students can be a challenging role, but it is an important one. I realize how dedicated these teachers are to their students. I also realize how important the proper training is to the teacher and think I will be better prepared because of the classes I am taking. Even though teaching ELL can tough, it is a very rewarding experience. I look forward to helping the ELL students in my own classroom and can use the information from this survey to continue to support their growth.
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