Maple Grove Elementary School
ENGLISH AS A NEW LANGUAGE TEACHER
20 Years of Teaching; 10 Years at Center Grove
To me, teaching is important because...
To me, teaching is important because it opens doors to the future. Education is the key to a successful life. Children come to school with varying life experiences. Some have done and learned so many things before they even walk through the doors of school, while others have very limited life experiences. It is my job to help them all. I try to meet them where they are to help them grow. Oftentimes, this means that I am teaching students who know little or no English or who are even new to our country. The transition can be quite challenging for them. I do my best to make them feel welcomed and loved. If they feel supported, they will be able to accomplish anything. For example, I have a fifth-grade student who moved here from Japan a little over a year ago. When he first arrived, he was so anxious about school that he did not even want to walk into the school. His classroom teacher, ENL assistants, his parents, and I worked very diligently to help him feel comfortable at school. We met together, discussed, and implemented a plan for him. We knew that he liked basketball, so we let him earn basketballs each day by completing tasks. If he earned five basketballs, he could go to the gym with me and a friend to play for 10 minutes. This was challenging for him, but most days he did earn the chance to go to the gym. Our administrator also helped us hire a bilingual assistant to work with him throughout the day. She explained assignments and procedures in his native language for a few weeks, so that he would understand expectations and have someone he could communicate with until he felt more comfortable. Helping this one student took a great deal of time and energy from many, but seeing him succeed was definitely worth it. School is still challenging for him, however, he has come so far. We are all so proud of his growth. In my role as an ENL teacher, I am so fortunate to see this growth in so many children as I teach them throughout their elementary school years. Seeing them go from the beginning stages of learning English to becoming proficient in English is one of the greatest aspects of my job. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.