I kept trying to get better at giving students more independent writing time and ensure I conferred with every student every day. Yet, my ELLs continued to struggle in both their language proficiency and productivity. They wrote the least number of pieces every year.
As I endeavored to practice what I learned, I found that conferences with a few of my students were more difficult than the most difficult examples in the books. I was stumped by blank stares and students who said, “I don’t understand what you’re saying,” or “Ok, but what should I do now?”
Teaching conventions seems to be the most straightforward part of teaching English. Learning conventions, though, doesn’t come easy, especially to ELLs.
The paradoxical truth about teaching is that you can be an excellent teacher to all students only by being an excellent teacher to one student at a time.
“One of the burdens of privilege is the outsider’s perspective.”
If finding the words that seem to be stuck in your throat is not finding your voice, then what is?