Nashua Teachers gear up to better educate English language learners. Click here to read the article...
Our first cohort of 40 Nashua educators began coursework in January 2013. The GATE CITY team received an overwhelmingly positive response from district educators eager to add ESOL certification to their list of credentials. Just over 80 educators applied for 40 available spots. Admitted participants come from 11 elementary, middle and high schools across the district and include teachers from every grade level and every academic disciple.
Members of the first cohort have been working together in collaborative teams to support culturally and linguistically diverse students by implementing new methods for instruction in their diverse classrooms.
Reactions from participants:
"I love what I am learning, especially how it completely relates to my Deaf/Hard of Hearing students, as well. The approach and philosophies in working with CLD student is very similar to those in working with students who have a hearing loss. Many of the things I have learned so far reinforce things I have learned and already use with my students. At the same time, it has further opened my mind into how much more I can incorporate and make things more appropriate for all my students, deaf/hard of hearing, hearing, and CLD."
--Carmen Kosow, Teacher of the Deaf, New Seales and District wide
“This course has given me a greater understanding of how CLD students learn and the challenges they face. I am glad I was chosen for this program as my 10th grade biology classes are suddenly filled with CLD students, most who have just entered the country and are getting introduced to English for the first time. When I began this program, I had many preconceived ideas that I have since changed.
When I began teaching these students at the beginning of the semester I lacked confidence in student understanding and learning and lacked a good assessment tool. Now, using the tools I have been given, I am confident that the students are learning. They are they are verbally expressing biological concepts, and I have seen firsthand students who were sitting quietly in the beginning of the semester beginning to participate in class.”
--Neeta Masand, 10th grade Biology Teacher, Nashua North High School
“So far, my participation in the Gate City program has been informative and fun! I enjoy how the course is set up. We have readings to do on our own, then we gather with our cohort to discuss the readings and a video. I am blessed to be in a cohort with two other people who have a similar educational philosophy to mine. Our conversations are interesting and challenging. It's been a wonderful professional experience so far.”
--Natalie LaFlamme, 6th grade Math Teacher, Fairgrounds Middle School
“I am getting so much out working in the cohort because it reaffirms the notion that the best professional development and learning comes when groups of teachers come together and talk about teaching. It's really that simple. The work we are doing in the cohort and the conversations we are having will undeniably make us more effective teachers. Once more teachers understand best practices for our CLD students, I believe we will see the ripple effect throughout classrooms in the district.”
--Paula Papanicolaou, Peer Coach, District wide