How to change the academic gap?
For the last 6 years in the classroom I taught math to 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. The more I taught, the more I saw a large achievement difference between students. After looking closer at my students data I saw the divide existed between my English language learners and the English only and reclassified students. After diving deeper into the data, I found that the problem exists across all of California and not just in my classroom. For my first capstone project I researched different teaching methods that supported English language learners and implemented them into my daily teaching. This year was my first year as an Academic Specialist working at two different middle schools. One of the schools I worked at has a high English Language Learner population and I worked closely with the school's math team. I saw an opportunity to take what I learned in my first capstone and coach the math teachers at the school site to ensure they focus on researched teaching strategies to help their English language learners. Not only was I able to apply my knowledge through coaching, but I was able to work with the administrators at the school site to make adjustments to the system and implement new practices to support their students in math. I was reinvigorated to know that I get to work with teachers and help them grow as educators.
"To address the language deficit of ELLs, it is imperative that schools focus on finding methods and strategies to address this critical issue affecting one out of five students. This need is compounded in Math due to the increasingly more language heavy focus upon complicated word problems that students are asked to answer in the CAASPP tests used statewide to measure student performance. " (Pg. 4)