Monday, June 13, 2016

Welcoming All Learners

This year I was privileged to teach two intervention language arts classes along with my two honors classes. My intervention classes were small (maximum 12 students), and the students ranged from a kindergarten reading level to about third grade. Of my 21 intervention students, seven of the students spoke English as a second language. It was definitely a challenge, but it was such a treat to watch these students learn and grow this year. 

I always try to stay culturally aware having had the opportunity to travel the world and having a sister who has taught and studied abroad. When I realized I'd have so many students from other countries, I knew I wanted to do something special to welcome them each to the room. 

Above my SmartBoard, I typically hang a "welcome" banner. This year, I decided to add to it by welcoming each student in his/her own language. 

When I started the year, I had students from Japan, the Philippines, and Mexico. My sister lived in Korea and had friends who could write and speak Japanese, so I had her get a translation for me that I copied onto the poster. I used Google translate for the Filipino translation, and I asked our school's Spanish teacher to help me with the last translation. As the year progressed, I had some schedule changes that gave me a few more students. I ended up adding China, the Ivory Coast, Nepal, and Niger. 

 It was simple way to let my students know that I recognized their differences but accepted them all as a part of our classroom family.

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