Facilitating learning is now expected of modern teachers, but what does that actually mean? What are the key features of being an effective facilitator and what do we learn from our students by teaching in this way? How can we use our students to help us become better teachers?
After deciding to answer it, I looked-up how the dictionary specifically defines the word "facilitation" and found it means "to make easier or less difficult."
In my mind, though, it means the exact opposite. Let me explain...
Our school year ended in mid-June and our District had little money for actual summer school. We used to have over one thousand of our students attending for at least six weeks — not because they were failing and had to retake classes, but because they wanted to get ahead. Now, we’re down to four classes for students who have failed a class and have to take it again. And there are no classes for English Language Learners.
The Picture Word Inductive Model (PWIM) is my favorite, and central, instructional strategy for teaching Beginning English Language Learners.
What can we do instead of counting down the days until the end and be energized for our students and for us?
I was a community organizer for nineteen years prior to becoming a teacher eleven years ago. Here are a few ideas that are modified versions of what organizers are often urged to do when they are feeling “burned-out”:
Work Fewer Hours: By this time of the year, “throwing time” at school doesn’t pay dividends. Cutting back on outrageous work hours per week can often result in feeling more energized in the classroom.
Unfortunately, all too often we teachers talk about motivation as something we have to do to students instead of helping them identify ways they can motivate themselves.
Assessing our English Language Learner students can be a minefield, especially in the face of potential outside-of-class pressures from administrators, school and district mandates and, in some cases, parent pressure.
What assessment practices can we use that might be relatively objective and useful to everyone?
Using a "Three-Two-One" Speaking Activity