The other day, I posed a question to my Twitter PLN. I asked what their non-negotiables were for teaching English Learners. The responses were overwhelming. Just imagine if we set aside time as campus or district teams to develop non-negotiables and then live by them. This would be a great practice for ESL and bilingual teams. Here are some of the responses from Twitter followers:
These statements above may help you and your team develop your own non-negotiables. I suggest that you gather as a group and discuss these and talk about what the most important items are. What do you all feel are not open for discussion? Some of these can be grouped together. Others may feel more like beliefs to you. You could even go ahead and list your group's belief statements. It's best to keep your non-negiables down to a short list. Narrow them down as much as you can.
Non-negotiables: standards for our program that are NOT open for discussion
Beliefs: what you hold true
Once you have created your non-negiables and possibly your beliefs too, keep them at the forefront of your instruction and share them with all who need access. Administrators and mainstream teachers who also serve English learners need to know what is considered NOT open for discussion. If they are available to take part in the process of creating the non-negiables and beliefs, even better! Even if one representative from each grade level can participate, they can be the voice for their team.
STEPS IN A NUTSHELL:
1. Think about what's most important to you about the teaching of English learners
2. Meet as a team to curate a tight list of the essential standards by which every teacher on your campus will live by-this will be your list of NON-Negotiables
3. Share it with all who serve English learners
4. Act on these non-negotiables in all that you do with students. Keep them at the core!