Engage Every Teacher in Raising EL Achievement

The caliber of core teaching has the greatest influence on whether or not our English Learners (ELs) thrive. Consider the following: Three in four U.S. classrooms have at least one student who is an English learner. Even in schools with EL specialists, ELs spend the majority of their instructional day with core classroom teachers. We know this, yet too often forget it when designing EL programs and solutions. Instead, many…

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What Conversations Can Capture

When educators talk about formative assessment, student conversations are often left out of the conversation. This needs to change. You can lead the way.

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Five Ways to Build Administrator Buy-In for Teacher Inquiry

Mention peer observation inquiry (OI) in education circles, and one of the first questions is always, “How do you build teacher buy-in?” It’s a critical question. Teacher leaders, however, ask another important question: “How do you build administrator buy-in and support for peer observation inquiry?” Here are five tips to help teacher leaders engage administrators in supporting effective, job-embedded professional learning.

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Kindergarten Teachers Collaborate to Innovate with Technology

At George I. Sanchez Community School, a Title I school in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Title I Kindergarten students are actively using technology to collaborate, create and communicate in ways that deepen content learning. It didn’t start this way. Learn how teachers collaborated to transform their teaching.

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Albuquerque Teacher Leaders Open Doors to Observation Inquiry

“Instead of brushfires for excellence, we need infernos of excellence. Our project will do this.” In a packed hotel conference room in Albuquerque, New Mexico, teacher leader Maureen Torrez, NBCT, describes the observation inquiry pilot project she and her team of National Board Certified Teachers are leading to deepen how teachers and students learn in Albuquerque public schools.

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Four Sentences Educators Must Stop Saying About Students

The language we use to talk about students matters. It reflects and shapes our perceptions, and most importantly, our expectations for student success.
In your school, make a courageous commitment to shift all staff conversations about kids and their families from a deficit mindset, which views diversity as a problem kids bear, to an asset mindset: one which truly values students and their communities for the diversity they bring. Begin by reframing these four sentences.

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Taste Poetry on Your Tongue

April is National Poetry Month, and I’m celebrating by inviting you to join my students and I in a personal challenge to memorize a new poem each week and recite it for others. To be honest, I never got excited about poetry recitation. It seemed boring. I’d rather create poetry than memorize it. Reciting poetry seemed like an “old-school” activity for antique pedagogy and desks in rows. But in the simple…

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Outsider: A Call for Connection

I wrote this poem about being an outsider in China in an effort to build empathy for what I have never experienced: being a new immigrant in the United States. I wrote it primarily for monolingual English speakers in my country who ask about immigrants, “Why do they stay together and speak their language?” “Why don’t they learn English?”

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