268.  I went to work this week in Brunswick County. I have no job description, but the best I can figure out I will be supervising 4 bilingual assistants and assisting with additional ESL services for the most "at risk" students at 6 schools.  I need a "sounding board" for all that is happening there. I have been out of touch with ESL news now for two years and need my "legal" claws sharpened. Ha!  I have been too tired to move this week - after not working since last January. I will talk to my friend Natalie tomorrow at church and see if she might be able to get off and go to one of your workshops. Now that I am employed, I don't think I can go this time 'round, but I still want to see you if we can work that out. I'll look at the calendar and see what we have going on between now and Mar. 26. I'll be in touch.  Let me know how things are going for Middle Schools and High Schools. I will be in two middle schools 2-3 days a week assisting the bilingual tutor. I have already encountered classroom teachers' negative feelings about the students and have observed that little is being done in the classroom. The students are spending about half of the day with the tutor. I want to make a difference and if they will let me do some staff development for classroom teachers and these bilingual tutors, I will stay. If they tie my hands, I will be gone at the end of the year.  The tutors were hired with the only qualification being that they were bilingual and they have never had any training. Some have struggled along and sort of caught on to some things on their own; others are still struggling, trying to figure out what they are supposed to be doing. The ESL program comes under the Director of Federal Programs and she will be the one who will have to give me the authority to do what needs to be done. I anticipate the greatest resistance from the Middle School teachers. Right now I don't have any high schools to worry about because most of the kids are dropping out in Middle School.  Hope to see you soon!

ANSWER:

Your question is excellent!!!!
 
My goodness, I just do not where to begin!!!!!   First let me tell you that North Carolina MUST begin to work towards raising the mandatory school attendance age to 18.   It is truly a shame that students --ALL students-- in North Carolina, but especially the most at-risk students can just legally leave school at age 16.   In our day and age, there is a lot more to learn in two more years.  So, the reason you give for not having to worry at the High School Level is truly a very SAD reason -- the kids can just leave, legally by age 16.
 
The drop-out rate by 9th grade in NC needs to improve tremendously.   Two weeks ago there was a very disturbing article about the 9th grade drop-out rate in NC in the NEWS & OBSERVER, from Wilmington.   I am not surprised at the negative feelings you have already detected in Middle School Teachers.   There is too much pressure in NC for teachers to produce "good TEST results" at any cost, and many times the reality is that students at-risk, particularly students who are English Learners, are "pushed" out to improve the TEST results at particular schools: One of the many negative outcomes of the "No Child Left  Behind" Act.
 
In terms of sharpening your "legal" claws, I believe they have always been very sharp!!!  You have a great eye and an even greater heart to insure that ALL students are provided an equal educational opportunity and equal access to the curriculum.  I truly approve of your idea of providing staff development for the TEACHERS and the TUTORS --hopefully TOGETHER at some point in time-- so the ESL program and the Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) instructional modifications are put in place and implemented by the content area teachers.    It is essential that TEACHERS and TUTORS work together so the TUTORS help students by PREPARING them for the content area classes the teachers teach.   But that requires TEAM WORK and cooperation and coordination among content area teachers, the ESL teacher(s), the TUTORS and YOU.
 
Please, feel free to suggest to ALL teachers and TUTORS to access my Web Sites and read the answers to the questions already posted, which probably are the many questions they may have in their minds.   It is totally FREE.   I will be glad to send to you as many hundreds of fliers as you need to tell ALL teachers and tutors how to access my Web Sites.  Here are the WebSites addresses:
 
http://www.EducationalQuestions.com
http://www.ESLQuestions.info
http://www.BilingualQuestions.org
 
It seems, Ann, that your work and my work will NEVER be completely DONE!!!   Let us keep on trying!!!! Hope to see you Friday, if just for a few minutes!!!   C. 

 

 

 

 

 


For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
Paraprofessionals: Number 3.
Web Site Programs for
New Teachers:
Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity - The Challenge of Students Diversity
Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.

 

For information and credentials please click on the link below or contact directly:

CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK, Ph.D.

Educational Consultant, Program Evaluator

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Certification (12/2006)

3113 Malcolm Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90034-3406

Phone and Fax: (310) 474-5605

E-mail:  csssadek@gte.net