Welcome to the final part of the Summer Multilingual Learner Planning Series! We are focusing on progress monitoring and advocating for your MLLs and ELLs within your school building. You can check the other parts of the series out here:
Part 1: Know Your Students
Part 2: Creating Language Goals
Part 3: Lesson Planning
Once you have everything set up as far as understanding your student data, how to create language goals from that data, and how to lesson plan based on it too, it's time to set up progress monitoring and understand your role of being an advocate for your multilingual learners.
The best way to monitor progress if your district does not have a specific way they want it done, is to set up a form and a way to communicate with content teachers to have them fill out the forms to make sure they are successful and their scaffolds are assisting them with access to curriculum and instruction. Some districts have programs like ELLevation, which is great! However, some do not. If you need a form for progress monitoring, you can check this one out here!
Your forms should include some basics for your teachers in your building to fill out such as:
How to collect reports
Everyone has their preferences, but I prefer doing these reports digitally and keeping them in an online sharing space such as Google Drive or One Drive. Otherwise, they can be printed out and placed in teacher's boxes and asked to be returned at a specific date. I have found that it is more effective to give an actual date for return. Sending these out on a Monday and asking for them to be returned on a Thursday is sufficient time.
What if students are not performing well?
If students are not performing well in class or not interacting with others, it would be beneficial to review a couple of things with the teacher and then follow up with a plan of action.
Advocating for students
As you can see, there is a gentle balance between advocating for your students but also maintaining a good working relationship with colleagues. We want to give them the benefit of the doubt and coach them with how to support our multilingual students as best and as gracefully as we can. At the end of the day, students are at the center and we are all working for their success. Here are some ways that you can advocate for your MLs and ELs:
I bet you never thought this before you became an ESL teacher, but leadership is something you start to embrace after advocating for your students so much! Personally, I am an introverted teacher so it took me a while at first to feel comfortable in this role. But I kept reminding myself that it was all for my students. Being a teacher leader means doing some of the following:
I encourage you to continue your learning and reach out to others online if you do not have a PLN in your area or district. I have learned so much by doing this when I created my Teacher Instagram and Twitter! I never knew how beneficial it would be!
And if you feel you need more support or resources, check out our monthly teacher membership (and don't be afraid to ask for a purchase order!).
Happy learning and advocating, teacher friends! I wish you the best year yet!
I support middle and high school teachers through monthly lesson plans, coaching, and guest speaker offerings in our Secondary ESL Teacher Membership.