Teachers wear so many hats in a given day. We are counselors, mothers/fathers, referees, coaches, guides, facilitators, listeners, mediators, and so much more. Having diverse students in our classrooms adds a new layer to our responsibilities. And by diverse, I mean all types of diversity:
In some districts, ESL/ELL teachers are charged with the challenging job of co-teaching and co-planning in grade level classrooms and pulling small groups of newcomer ELLs out of the classroom for intensive language instruction.
In other districts, ESL/ELL teachers only co-teach and co-plan in grade level classrooms. They spend all of their time working with one grade level and one teacher and are basically part of that grade level team.
I have also heard of districts where the ESL/ELL teacher only pulls small groups of ELLs out of the classroom to work with them for language instruction. The students are at varying levels of language proficiencies.
And in other districts there are not additional ESL/ELL teachers. The classroom teacher that is ESL certified works with ELL students within the general education classroom to provide language support.
I'm sure there is some other model out there that I missed. Please let me know by posting a comment below. I would love to hear how your school or district provides support.
If you are one of the lucky and have an ESL/ELL specialty teacher on your campus, he/she probably spends some time doing "other" things of which classroom teachers don't know about. I remember as a third grade teacher wondering what my ESL co-teacher did when she wasn't in my room co-teaching with me. What kind of paperwork did she have? What was an LPAC? I had no idea about her job...until I stepped into it myself.
Recently an EAL specialist reached out to me on Twitter and asked me to share with her what the roles where in the district where I work. I thought that if one person was wondering, then there had to be more. And I, too, wonder how this role looks in different parts of the nation and the world.
So I decided to share with you, and I hope you share with the rest of us.
I've charted them here for you by beginning of the year (fall semester), all year, and end of the year (spring semester).
Are your ESL teachers' roles similar? Are they different? How? Please share your comments below.