Qualified Personnel in General Education

September 15, 2017

Because of the lack of specialized resources and the scarcity of qualified personnel in general education, it has been suggested that districts with significant ELL enrollment will likely place these students in special education; in fact, research conducted in California by Alfredo Artiles, Robert Rueda, Jesús Salazar, and Ignacio Higareda suggests that English language learners (ELLs) are disproportionately placed in disability programs.

Historically, the so-called subjective disabilities have been overpopulated at the national level by ethnic minority students, particularly African American and American Indian learners, as explained by Suzanne Donovan and Christopher Cross. These categories include learning disabilities (LD), mild mental retardation (MMR), and emotional/behavioral disorders (E/BD). ELL overrepresentation has been reported in the past two decades, as Alba Ortiz and James Yates report in their chapter in English Language Learners With Special Needs.

It is interesting that although general educators may be using disability diagnoses as a means to cope with the aforementioned contemporary reforms, special education is transforming its identity as a result of the inclusive education movement and preventive approaches. Indeed, more students with disabilities are being educated in general education classrooms, though it has been reported by Daniel Losen and Gary Orfield that ethnic minority students are placed in more segregated settings than are their White counterparts. In turn, preventive models such as “response to intervention” (RTI) promise to identify and treat early (i.e., while the student is still in a general education environment).

These new trends are creating unique and unprecedented conditions for the education of ELLs. This entry addresses the legal background of the special education programs geared toward culturally and linguistically diverse students designated as ELLs and the implications for assessment, curriculum planning, and the nature of inclusive education programs for those students.

General Education

April 10, 2017

What is general education? Usually it’s composed of different subjects like English, History, Social Sciences or other subjects required in your chosen program. If you don’t want to come up with a major yet, general education gets you into the picture. You are saved of making the mistake of choosing the wrong major. And you can still explore your strengths and the areas you want to get your expertise. You are given the chance to learn more about your interests and maybe acquire new interests as you go along with your studies. General education allows students to take different subjects such as English, Humanities, Theatre or Film, Computers, Psychology, History, Social Science and others, until they find what the best match for them is. You’re saved wasting time and efforts with courses you’re not sure of.

A degree in general education can be a 2 year program but can cover necessary credentials for you to take it to the bachelor or master degree level. It can also be a 4 year program, enough for you to get an average paying job in different sectors. A university’s take on general education may vary. Their curriculum and elective subjects can be different as it can be tailored per profession like educators or sales people. This degree is perfect for those aspiring to become teachers, counsellors, principals, administrative assistants or sales representative.

You can get a job even if you don’t possess a specialization in a certain field. After you graduate, there’s an assurance that you will secure a job. A graduate of general education can get a job as a counsellor and earn $60,000 or higher per annum. His job is to keep an eye on troubled students, perform one on one talks and assist students with their personal issues. He works closely with students and must keep their best interests at heart. You could also land a job as a secondary school teacher. Your job is to teach, guide, and evaluate students. High school teachers are required to have one or more specialization. How you implement discipline and cultivate their skills or talents will become their foundation as a better individual. Educators earn $50,000 or more per year. You can also work as a high school principal. You’ll be the top executive inside the school. A master’s or higher educational attainment under your belt is required. You’ll get the toughest job to manage your educators, how they implement your scribed values or policies. You must assure that they are all working as one unit to adhere to your said standard. You’ll receive $80,000 or higher per annum, still exclusive of allowances. You can still work outside the education industry; others work in sales.

General Education boasts of a well-balanced program that will aid you to become a well-rounded professional. Covering subjects you can implement on a daily basis which can serve as the foundation for major subjects you may want to cover later on. General education is an alternative way for you to earn your degree and flexibility to work in a variety of industries.

Teaching Tips For Effective Collaboration For ESL and General Education Teachers

March 15, 2017

ESL and general education teachers can collaborate to help plan curriculum and support the specific needs of their struggling English language learners.Teachers need collaborative resources for different areas of lesson planning, instructional settings, and curriculum design. General education teachers spend many hours in instructional planning, classroom management, and assessment usually without any input from ESL teachers. In their collaboration, ESL and general education teachers should consider a variety of instructional strategies and develop a system for checking and rechecking how students acquire knowledge. Teachers can use various resources to begin the collaboration process. There are other things teachers can do as well to facilitate the process of working together.

Implications and Conclusions for General Education and ESL Teachers

ESL and general education teachers benefit greatly from collaboration. The critical need to successfully teach struggling ELLs in primary grades makes collaboration not only beneficial, but necessary.

Before teachers can truly collaborate, they need to understand their ELLs and the areas in which they struggle. They will also want to consider how they have grouped their students. Teachers take this information as input when they meet with other teachers to work on practical solutions. Teachers face constraints of time, curriculum, and district procedures. They can suggest collaborative models to their administrators and colleagues as part of the solution. The ultimate goal is to create a supportive learning environment for teachers and students.

Teachers can develop a plan, use various resources to aid in collaboration, and follow guidelines that facilitate collaboration to experience positive results. They can ask questions along the way to guide their inquiry and collaborative efforts.

The support and input teachers receive in collaboration in turn gives them the ability to better support their lower performing readers. Collaboration gives ESL specialists and general education teachers ways in which they can work together to further ELLs’ progress to ensure success in general education classrooms. Teacher tips: These tips will help you maximize the benefits of collaboration for you and your students. A collaborative plan should reflect goals for supporting ELLs. In your plan include characteristics of your struggling ELLs, teaching strategies, and a modifications checklist for monitoring their work. Find common areas of learning and reading difficulties to facilitate your collaboration with ESL or general education teachers. Use collaboration to help you plan reading and oral instruction to meet your students’ critical needs.

The Real Deal of Successful Collaborative Teaching Between ESL and General Education Teachers

February 15, 2017

Nowadays, it makes so much more sense for teachers of ELLs working in faced paced classrooms to collaborate. Teachers need to learn from other teachers what works especially when it comes to supporting struggling ELLs. But this is not such a simple task. As Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” For supporting ELLs, this collaboration never had a more meaningful role in supporting struggling ELLs learn how to read. I think new teachers especially, become frustrated when they don’t use collaboration strategically, but when they get to build on their collaboration, their interest grows.

Teachers can learn from other teachers who work with ELLs in either a general education class or small ESL learning group. They can create supportive learning and working environments when they know the various ranges of activities that have worked successfully for ELLs. They get excited about adapting activities when it can help their ELLs become more proficient readers and decoders. They learn collaborative strategies by collaboration. The key is to put the teacher as the learner.

My first and second grade ELLs enjoy oral work that focuses on sound and meaning when it is combines in a variety of playful contexts such as rhymes, songs, jazz chants and poetry, but I have found that they sometimes they don’t get the deeper meaning and this frustrates me. What’s this word? What does it mean? Back to thinking different strategies on my own…not again.

During my first year of teaching struggling elementary ELLs, I worked closely with a mentor and ten other teachers. The focus of our workshop was learning what worked from other teachers, so we could bridge some of literacy gaps. The facilitator had us engage in learning journals using guided subjects for reflection. We began by writing our concerns and questions, and then we reflected on the lessons using guiding questions. Our facilitator then responded to our journals and extracted various entries, which were then categorized under various subjects. Some of the other reflections revealed a totally different approach to teaching ELLs. Some of the teachers had plenty of practical activities and thoughts while others raised more thoughtful questions and concerns. Reading their responses helped me get into the mind of a first grade ELL – what a great experience!

After this, I realized that there were plenty of issues I needed to be aware of before expecting ELLs to read. The challenge with using the teachers’ responses as a guide for planning lessons was being prepared in knowing that some activities wouldn’t work for my particular struggling ELLs. They couldn’t acquire meaning without doing lots of decoding exercises and so there was not much they were able to do without a lot of oral help and support. In addition, they needed a lot of support in other areas as well. The most important thing a teacher of ELLs can do is to is to take a pre-assessment of their abilities and interests and create a student profile. Then, a teacher can customize instruction by providing successful activities based on what is available to the teacher and what the ELL can do. If teachers want ELLs to succeed just like their native English speaking peers, they need to be prepared a wide variety of learning options.

With other general education and ESL teachers, I tried to recreate a productive collaboration mode whereby teachers were able to learn from each other. I encouraged general education teachers to reflect on how successful they were able to teach a balanced mode of reading using components of oral and reading instruction. Then I asked teachers to reflect on the challenges using a series of lead-in questions and subjects for reflection we could investigate. Then we categorized the responses and as a collaborative group, we came up with a wide range of possibilities for teaching struggling ELLs in both educational and ESL learning contexts. The ELLs from both groups were then challenged using the wide range of activities we were able to pool together.

Creating the need to collaborate between general education and ESL teachers is a lot harder than it looks. General education teachers need encouragement, guidance and support to see the benefits of collaborating with ESL teachers and vis-versa. But teachers are actually benefiting when teachers successfully collaborate, not simply for the sake of acquiring additional teaching ideas but how to use those ideas more strategically to support their struggling ELLs. Students continued to struggle, but at least, teachers felt that the dialogue experience gave them more confidence builder strategies and tips to fully cater to the needs of their ELLs and they created lessons with more thought and engagement than before.

Reflective thinking is one process that I have used successfully, but there are strategies for encouraging reflective thinking as well. Reflective practice and professional development encourages educators to incorporate reflecting thinking in their daily practice as a prerequisite for collaboration. In our book proposal on Collaborative Teaching between ESL and General Education Teachers, Grades K-2: What Educators Need to Know, we wrote: “The critical need to successfully teach struggling ELLs in primary grades makes collaboration not only beneficial, but necessary. But before teachers can truly collaborate, they need to understand their ELLs and the areas in which they struggle. They will also want to consider how they have grouped their students. Teachers take this information as input when they meet with other teachers to work on practical solutions. Teachers face constraints of time, curriculum, and district procedures. They can suggest collaborative models to their administrators and colleagues to be part of the solution. The ultimate goal is to create a supportive learning environment for teachers and students.”