The teacher:
a. Provides evidence of student learning to students, families, and staff.
b. Implements strategies supporting student, building, and district goals.
c. Uses student performance data as a guide for decision making.
d. Accepts and demonstrates responsibility for creating a classroom culture that supports the learning of every student.
e. Creates an environment of mutual respect, rapport, and fairness.
f. Participates in and contributes to a school culture that focuses on improved student learning.
g. Communicates with students, families, colleagues, and communities effectively and accurately.

A. Provides Evidence of Student Learning to Students, Families, and Staff

Below is an example of one of the ways in which I provide evidence of student learning to my students, their families, and other staff members, such as resource teachers. Adding comments to JMC is an effective way to communicate the same information to all parties, making sure we are all on the same page. In addition, I communicate regularly with students and their families through email.


B. Implements strategies supporting student, building, and district goals


Student thinking and learning (as well as adults') are different now than they used to be when we were growing up. The internet and all technology have not only changed the everyday lives of how we live; they have changed how our brains actually work. So in order to improve how our students learn, we need to instruct in a way consistent with their brains. Thus, we need to use technology, fast-paced lessons, quick changes, and group work. Instructional change, student engagement, and use of technology are all goals of our schools today.


I continually work to met these goals through the daily use of my websites and other technologies (iPad, Web apps, software, and cell phones) to both instruct and interact with and between my students. Not only have I developed a website for each of my classes and use it daily with students, but I worked to achieve a grant from the Atlantic School Foundation to purchase a classroom set of Chromebooks so that I could assure for my students daily access to our online classroom. In addition, I also use my website (in tandem with email and JMC) to communicate with my students' parents to keep them up to date on what their children are doing in class, their child's progress, and to encourage them to get more active in communicating with their children and holding them accountable to be good, strong learners.


I also continually work to support my colleagues in meeting district and personal goals in the improvement and development of their individual teaching skills. During my time as ELL coordinator, I designed and delivered monthly ESL professional development and provided ongoing development of our AtlanticESL wiki. I currently serve on our high school AIW leadership team and work daily with my English department CLT to design curriculum, problem solve for students at risk, and support colleagues with technology needs.

English language learners have a huge responsibility of learning. Not only are they learning a new language, but at the same time, they are expected to learn the same content as their native English-speaking classmates. This is a huge task, especially for those who are just learning to read when their classmates have already mastered it. From this, two major hurdles come for an ELL: mastering reading and gaining in proficiency and content faster than their native English-speaking classmates. One way I have attacked both these issues is by helping our ELLs focus on reading during the summer. Avoiding the summer slump in learning can help the ELL close the gap between him and his mainstream classmates. Providing this information to both the student and his family help motivate them to work together toward this goal.

Attached are two files, one entitled "Magic Treehouse Elementary Learning Log" and the other entitled "Magic Treehouse Secondary Learning Log." I received a workbook from one of my daughter's 1st grade teachers when they were reading through a number of the Magic Tree House books. I loved how it prompted the readers to predict, review, and question during their reading. I decided to adapt the workbook for my elementary ESL students, adding a place for new words that they learned.

Soon the end of the school year came, and I was trying to encourage all of my ELLs to read over the summer, not only to maintain, but to develop their fluency over the summer. One of my secondary students, who is the older sister to one of my elementary students, wants to become a teacher. Because of her desire, her connection with her brother, and my desire to have them both read, I decided one way to promote 1) reading for both, 2) the accountability that the younger brother needed, and 3) the teaching experience that would benefit the older sister was to have a joint reading project. One really good thing about the Magic Tree House series is that, even though the characters in the book are 6 and 7 years old, the adventures they include are so exciting, historical, and culturally rich that older ESL students who are learning to read and comprehend written English are still interested. Therefore, I decided to adapt a learning log for secondary use and have this secondary student read to and with her elementary brother.

In order to make the book and the learning log both interesting and developmentally appropriate, I added more complex prompts to the workbook, more specific requirements for writing, and (my favorite) four alternate RAFT (Role, Audience, Format, Topic) writing assignments, including prompts such as, "You are a magazine writer. Your job is to sell certain books to kids who read your magazine. Write a magazine article that will persuade the readers of your magazine to buy this book. This will include a summary of the book, including an explanation or description of the characters, the setting, and the event (a problem?)."

Because of the intellectual and developmentally appropriate writing prompts in each different learning log, as well as the purpose and context established for the learning, each student, despite the seven-year difference in age, was able to effectively complete two books over the summer... probably two more books and 20 more pages of writing than they would have done without the Magic Tree House learning logs.

C. Uses Student Performance Data to Guide Decision Making


Attached is a file entitled "ELDA Results and Differentiation." This is a data chart diagraming the language proficiency of each of our 4th through 12th grade ELLs according to their 2009 I-ELDA results. Following the chart is a differentiation guide that indicates what student behavior for each proficiency level would be, as well as recommended teacher strategies and assessment strategies for each proficiency level.

I provided this information to each sheltered instruction teacher, penciling in for each individual student their last year's results so that the teachers could see the level of progress made in each language domain from last year to this year, as well as see the general trends of our ELL population. I reviewed this information with each teacher, emphasizing for them what differentiation and modifications or scaffolding they would need to keep in mind in order to help their ELLs develop in both language and content. The visual of the data results coupled with the clear-cut recommendations for necessary strategies offers the sheltered content teachers concrete suggestions and information for most effectively instructing their ELLs. It also serves as a good discussion starter for teacher reflection and lesson designing when the sheltered instruction teachers and I discuss ELL strategies. In addition, this information is reviewed with both the student and the families so all involved can be on the same page when making decisions about the student's education.


D. Accepts & Demonstrates Responsibility for Creating a Classroom Culture that Supports the Learning of Every Student

E. Creating an Environment of Mutual Respect, Rapport, and Fairness

To the side is a sample of what students (and parents) have seen on my class website, just one example of how I create a classroom culture of learning and mutual respect. I am consistently modeling the kind of behavior I expect from my students while encouraging them to be respectful to each other and to themselves through doing their best. I also consistently draw their attention to what we are currently learning and look forward to what we will be learning, which keeps us focused on our educational goals of learning.

Another element of my instruction is to also draw their attention to metacognition in helping them think about what they are learning, how they are learning, and how they can benefit from honing their thinking and logic skills.

In addition, because we do quite a considerable amount of group work, think alouds, and pair shares, we constantly work on not only our culture of learning and communicating but our mutual respect, rapport, and fairness. In order to create an environment of respect, I have designed a unit to help them reflect on their personal perspectives and ideas about respect, as well as evaluate their ideas about their individual roles and responsibilities in group work, which you will see on the following lesson plan and group work evaluation form.

Perspective/Respect/Group Dynamics Lesson

Group Work Evaluation

F. Participates in and Contributes to a School Culture that Focuses on Improved Student Learning

G. Communicates with Students, Families, Colleagues, and Communities Effectively and Accurately


The above are two thank you notes presented to me by two of my ESL students from Central Campus in Des Moines on my last day of student teaching. Though all of the students I taught at Central Campus were low-level-proficiency students, I had asked the highest of those students to help me be a better teacher by telling me what I did best as a teacher that helped them learn. I was pleased and heart warmed to know that the very communication skills I purposefully use in order to increase the comprehensibility in my classroom were the very things these students not only realized helped them but also appreciated. I believe that whether a student is a mainstream, native-speaking student or an English language learner, working on good communication, through verbal, non-verbal, and technological means, is key to helping students learn effectively.

In addition to daily communication with students, below is a sample from my class wiki that exemplifies my attitude about communicating with parents: we need to work together to help encourage our students to be the best learners they can be. Please feel free to browse the Talking Points for Parents page of my class wiki.