From the Desk of Karen Stanton

January 2017

Reflection on December

Welcome back! I hope that your holiday break was filled with rest, joy, and maybe a few family shenanigans.

December passed quickly for me. I spent most of my days visiting your classrooms, attending coaching meetings, and then had the opportunity to accompany a Title 1 coach on some home visits. What an enlightening experience. If you have the opportunity and your administration supports it, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Each family that we visited was gracious, interested, and touched that we took the time to come by and talk to them (in their home language) about their students' grades and behavior as well as information about school and tutorials. Reading about home visits sent me down a rabbit hole of research, and so I attached an article below that focuses on getting to know your ELLs.

I love the promise of a new year. The holidays and all of their accompanying excess seem to naturally lead me into a time of settling and reflection that compels me back toward what is meaningful and genuine. These early January days are unmarred by cynicism or exhaustion, and when I was in the classroom, I always took advantage of this time by involving my students in reflection and effective goal-setting. Adolescents are, by nature, egocentric, and thinking about their progress and objectives is a productive way to ease back into the school year. (And New Year's resolutions -and then the breaking of them- are a cultural tradition!)

I am looking forward to a joyful and impactful new year and hope you are, too. Thank you for the work that you do every day.

Very sincerely,



One of my professional goals for 2017 is to continue working with you in your classrooms. Jim Knight, a huge guru in instructional coaching, talks about the "Big 4": content, behavior, instruction, and formative assessment.

If you would like to team with me for help in any of these areas, I am happy to come to your classroom to observe, plan, and team. I know that many of you have 4-5 preps and no team with whom to plan. I love talking about teaching, researching best strategies, and modeling these practices.

Kagan Book Study- last meeting and spring opportunity

Our last meeting is Tuesday, January 10, from 4:00- 5:00 p.m. in the Clark High School library. I have loved facilitating this class! If you, or anyone you know, are interested in signing up for the spring course, contact me directly.

Ronnie will provide a Kagan book for any teachers who work with ELs and who are willing to experiment with Kagan strategies after studying the book.

Networking Opportunity & PD credit

Are you looking for fellow ESL teachers with whom you can form a professional community? Let me know if you are interested in joining our group which would meet once/month for 1-2 hours to discuss relevant articles about best practices for ELLs. Your interest would guide our study which would likely touch upon literacy, long term ELLs, and strategies to help beginners.
Comprehensive website for ELL resources

This article includes links to myriad resources and articles about how to effectively teach and work with ELs. Enjoy!