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Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer and Rest? Nope--Off to In-Services:)

To those of you who have great vacation plans, congratulations:) I am holding off on mine until October when many teachers in my neck of the woods will have the first week of October off as furlough days. Unlike my earlier experience with LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District) where teachers had a dollar amount attached to furlough time and then that amount was spread out over all 13 paychecks with teachers reporting to work as usual, this current furlough time is actual time off without pay. Paris beckons (and I DO love France and the French language):)

So what is happening for me this summer? Well, I just found out that I will be an ELIC (English Language Instructional Coach) for a 3rd year at my site. I therefore decided to spend some time doing some in depth work on coaching content teachers (the resistant ones) to open their minds to some new approaches. So far, I have been impressed with what I have discovered and feel that content teachers stressing out over addressing writing needs of their ELLs will truly benefit from what I have to share.

Next week, I will be doing differentiation of instruction. Again, though this is not a new topic, I am approaching it through the eyes of content teachers at the high school level who see differentiation as "group work." Hopefully, the district is not using in-house instructors here. They tend to have less of an impact on instruction than outside professionals called in to present. My hope is that I can get easy-to-implement quickie approaches to ease this type of support into content teacher classes with a minimum of effort. If I take it in stages (a little at a time) and allow time for reflection, I might encounter more of a willingness to "try new things." :)

The first week of August, I am off to an ELL instructional workshop in my two favorite areas (there were many choices): ELLs and Technology (morning for 4 days) and ELLs in Content Classes (afternoon for 4 days). I am hoping that the professor who designed http://www.wordsift.com will be there. He incorporates technology in all his graduate classes for future teachers. In fact, I am hoping to add the star websites to http://www.ellteacherpros.com immediately after so that teachers around the world can benefit from the information.

I will also be teaching an ELD methodology class for National Hispanic University in July. It is good to keep a finger on the pulse of current education programs to monitor the growing needs of teachers of ELLs.

One of my friends did suggest that I try to at least take a couple of weekend excursions---I think I can manage that:)

By the way, I have two publications soon to be released on Google Books. ELD for All and CTEL Test Prep Review: A Self-Study Guide. Also, http://www.ellteacherpros.com now has CTEL classes that carry LAUSD salary points!! National Hispanic University is also allowing us to grant university credit for our classes. We are slowly making progress and it is fun!

Denise

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