Originally uploaded by Danarah
Welcome back to school, teachers and students! With all of this fall’s discussion about Bellevue School District’s Curriculum Web, we wanted to take a look at how curricula are created for our local ELL classes.
We hear from teachers in our ELL Endorsement program all the time about the curricula their districts expect them to teach. They run the gamut from pre-prepared lesson plans to a list of texts they must use for developing a program to a lack of any formal guidance. These differences can mean major issues for the districts. What happens when a student must move frequently from one school to another within the district? Will s/he transition more or less seamlessly into a new ELL classroom? Or are the differences between classes too great to bridge the learning gap?
Yet another reason why it’s so important that teachers, who are charged with bringing cohesion to their classrooms, have a clear understanding of the principles underlying how their students learn in order to best create a class that serves these students’ needs (even if the teacher is working with a curriculum set-in-stone by the district). In the Washington Academy of Languages TESL program, we are always concerned with these priorities and encourage our teachers to think holistically about the best way to manage a district’s demands with their own knowledge of best practices.
What do you think? Are you an ELL teacher with thoughts about curricula? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.