Diversity in Elementary Schools: What I Learned from ESL Academy

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When I first read about the ESL academy, I was intrigued because I had never attended a professional development that addressed the needs of ELL students. I applied for the academy because there were no teachers in my district with ESL training or endorsements and because I saw it as an opportunity for both professional growth and professional advancement. Although I work in a district where there are very few ELL students, most of the surrounding districts have a statistically significant percentage of ELL learners. I hoped by attending the ESL academy, I would have an advantage by receiving training that will soon be essential for teachers in my district. Because of my previous training on meeting the educational needs of struggling …show more content…
When I first read about the ESL academy, I was intrigued because I had never attended a professional development that addressed the needs of ELL students. I applied for the academy because there were no teachers in my district with ESL training or endorsements and because I saw it as an opportunity for both professional growth and professional advancement. Although I work in a district where there are very few ELL students, most of the surrounding districts have a statistically significant percentage of ELL learners. I hoped by attending the ESL academy, I would have an advantage by receiving training that will soon be essential for teachers in my district. Because of my previous training on meeting the educational needs of struggling learners and students from poverty, I expected that the ESL academy to offer more information along those same lines.
During the first day of ESL academy, I realized the inadequacy of my knowledge concerning the needs of ELL students and how woefully lacking my instruction had been for former students whose first language was not English. Participating in the ESL academy provided me with a plethora of information and left me eager to put into practice all that I had learned. I supplemented my training from the ESL academy by completing individual book studies using the books given to us by academy leaders. I read, dissected and took copious notes on both Checking for Understanding by Fisher and Frey and Biography-Driven Culturally

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