3. Why do you think it's important to work with our student population?
I think it's important to work with our student population because I believe they are the ones who need and deserve a 2nd chance. These students have already been through the traditional educational process, and unfortunately it didn't work for them. So our Five Keys Schools and Program allows for this population of students to receive the diplomas and have the same opportunities as everyone else.
4. What do you like to do with your free time?
There are many things I like to do with my free time... I love to read and I love to write, but I think what I like most is spending quality time with family and friends. I recently went to a live theatre play/ musical with some friends, and it was so uplifting... loved every minute of it. I have a very big family and we have annual family reunions every summer in Southern California, and I think that's my all-time favorite thing to do... Playing games, eating delicious food, and enjoying the company of my family is the best...
5. What is one classroom management technique that you've picked up over the years that helps you in your current position?
One classroom management technique that I've picked up over the years that has helped me in my current position is probably my ability to create a safe and welcoming classroom environment. Not really sure if that's a management technique, but I feel it's extremely important to set up the classroom in a way that's welcoming, clean, organized and inspiring to those that walk in and/or want to enroll. I strive to make everyone feel welcome and encourage those who have been students for a while to keep going and stay motivated.
6. What is something you've learned working with Five Keys that you wish you'd known when you started?
Something that I've learned working with Five Keys, that I wish I would've known when I started is quality of being flexible. Here at this job, things are constantly changing at a very rapid pace, sometimes with very little or no notice at all. So I've learned to adapt and expect the unexpected. Sometimes change is a difficult thing, but since working here, I've learned to just accept things as they come and expect change on a daily basis.
7. How do you keep students motivated, keep their attendance regular and help them persist?
There are a few things that I do to keep students motivated, keep their attendance regular and help them to persist. The biggest thing is get to know my students personally. I make it a point to meet with every single student one-on-one on a weekly basis, and it helps me get to know them and show a genuine interest in them. I also send out texts and make personal phone calls to students if I don't see them coming to school. Another thing that I do is give them visual and weekly recognition for their accomplishments. I have a "Wall of Fame" in my classroom, and every student who earns a high school credit or passes a GED/HiSET test, gets a shiny smiley-face sticker next to their name. Everyone who walks in my classroom will see all of their accomplishments by looking at the Wall. In addition, I have a wall of "GRADS', and this wall showcases a picture of all of our graduates in their caps and gowns... a very motivating visual that's encouraging and helps student persist in their studies.
8. How did you get so many students to sign up for the CAASPP workshops?
I did a few things to get a large turn-out for our CAASPP workshops... I shared information about the workshop weeks in advance to all of my students. I passed out flyers, highlighted the incentives of free lunch provided, the fun raffle prizes given away, and the opportunities to earn multiple credits by doing one project-based activity. I also sent out text messages the day before the workshops as a reminder. All of these things helped with the successful turn-outs at the CAASPP workshops.
9. How do you integrate technology into the classroom?
Unfortunately, I have to admit that I feel like I do not incorporate technology in my classroom enough. We currently have two computers in the classroom, but they are primarily used for GED practice tests. Occasionally, students will use them for PowerPoint presentations, or to type up an essay. But for the most part, students typically do assignments in their packets to earn credits for their high school diplomas.
10. What are your goals for your classroom, your students, yourself, etc?
One of my goals, has recently been met. It was to grow the Vallejo Community site attendance roster and get more and more students enrolled... Well have accomplished that, actually exceeded that, so much so that Five Keys has recently hired another teacher to come help me teach at this location. Ms. Simi Singh has been a wonderful addition to the site here, and I sincerely appreciate her help with our growing number of student enrollments.
Another goal of mine has also been recently met. It was/is to grow professionally in a leadership role. Recently I applied to be a Five Keys Mentor, and happily I accepted the job when it was offered to me. It has been a great experience so far. I appreciate all the training I've been given and I look forward to being an effective leader to my mentees!
Last but not least, I have goals for my students. One goal is to always encourage them to continue learning as much as they can. Even after they earn that high school diploma, GED or HiSET to continue learning. Learning a trade, attending a college, taking classes at an adult school, are just a few ways to continue learning. Education is something worth fighting for, and once someone has it, it can never be taken away.
la community sites esl team
ESL Teacher PD
By Marchelle Broussard
During the month of February the community ESL teachers in Southern California had the opportunity to meet for an ESL PD at the Weber site in Los Angeles. Each teacher presented her best practice and shared resources. Teachers shared ideas and resources that included hands-on activities that promote conversation, teaching strategies, and resources for reading, listening, writing, and speaking all in alignment with CASAS competencies promoting essential life and work skills for adults.
This month, the community and in-custody ESL teachers will participate in ESL Learning Tours! We look forward to seeing what will develop from this collaboration.
Scroll down to see some of their shared resources!
Download and print the game board templates below to make vocabulary development fun! Want to create your own video lesson? Download the Make Your Own Screencast instructions and start enhancing your ELL instruction today! To see an example of how this can be used, see Nicole Lopez's "Test Review" screencast, below.