You may have noticed that I have given my blog a recent makeover. Nearly three months ago I began this blog and thank you for joining me on this journey. In a quest to continually improve the way in which we interact, I have changed the mission, look, and name of the blog. I would like to inform you of these improvements, because I believe as my reader you should have a say in how this blog matures. After all, your tweets and exchanges are the reason why I post!
New Mission Statement
Primarily, I am an English language teacher. So why doesn’t my blog focus on English language materials? For years, I worked in a high school as the English as a Second Language senior instructor. This job meant that I was in charge of the thirty plus English language learners (ELLs) in the high school who came from over 12 different countries and were at various levels of English proficiency. My position required me to collaborate with mainstream educators in meeting the learning needs of the ELLs. When my students began to fail some of the classes, I was allowed to sit in and keep observation journals of the instructional methods used and how the ELLs responded. My observations spurred me to write this blog.
When the teachers only lectured, the students failed. For example, in one class the teacher only lectured and required students to take notes. No PowerPoints or visual aids were provided. Furthermore, the tests were based on the lecture and not on the book. Therefore, my beginner and intermediate level students were not able to pass this class. The teacher did not want to listen to any advice on ways to improve the lessons for all students and not just ELLs. Instead, the teacher requested that my students be moved into another class, because they had no business in his class. I have had enough of these experiences and felt a blog educating teachers on various technologies and methodologies that benefit all learners works best! I believe teachers should facilitate, differentiate instruction, make lessons engaging, teach students to problem solve using technology, create dynamic teaching environments, and have socially and culturally responsible lessons. All students’ needs are more likely to be met in this type of environment. When I collaborate with teachers who already do this then ELLs’ learning needs are met and amazing accomplishments are made. For example, several of my ELLs won awards for their involvement in speech contests, writing contests, robotic club challenges, art contests, athletics, and so much more. The ELLs at my school all graduated from high school and are attending universities! These accomplishments were due to general education teachers who were willing to use progressive methodologies to help all students.
New Name, New Game
I changed the name soon after a received a comment saying that the original name sounded rather condemning. The teacher was joking, but still I began to think about this. I definitely want to boost educators who are reading my blog and challenge them a bit. However, I do not want to make any of you feel as if you are not rewarding the students who enter your life everyday. If you are reading blogs, then you are definitely striving to improve your methods. However, sometimes teachers need a reboot. We need to read or be exposed to items that will energize us and help us self reflect on our pedagogy and instructional methods! At least, this occurs when I read other blogs and enter discussions with my Personal Learning Network (PLN)!
I also changed the name as symbolism for rebooting this blog and the mission. Other changes you will notice that better align with this mission are:
- New header (designed by me! Yippee)
- New template
- New categories
- New posting format
- New widgets
- New blog roll links
I hope you enjoy these changes and will continue this journey with me!
Thank you for all your support!
To better serve my readers! Please let me know what you think about the changes! Am I moving this blog in the right direction?