My students need bookshelves. I teach a widely diverse group of English Language Learners and would love to get the books I have bought them out of crates.
"Book? Good? Read?" My classroom is a cross between the United Nations and a one-room schoolhouse! My English as a Second Language students have represented over 20 countries, from Grade 4-8. My job is wonderful.... except when students need to rifle through crates to find books.
My kids are fantastic and make progress every day.
I have taught a student who was 13 and had never had a chance to go to school, and others who have had extensive travel and academic opportunities. Somehow, they find a way to build community across grade levels, cultures, and English proficiency levels, to support each other.
I currently have students from Guatemala, Mexico, France, South Korea, Mozambique, China, Japan, Chile, Kazakhstan, Haiti and Iran.
Most of the students are in ESL class during their communication block. The other teachers are very supportive of my students throughout the day. I try to get them involved in as many school activities as possible, to increase the language they hear and use.
Our school has been impacted greatly by budget cuts across our state, felt most in urban districts like mine.
Creating a classroom library to serve this diverse group has long been a goal of mine. We have a school library, but the needs of my students are different. It is difficult to find Easy Readers that will appeal to 7th and 8th graders, so when I find them, I grab them. As my collection has grown, I don't have a good place to display them or share them. Students need to look through crates, or through very low bookshelves. I share a basement room with another ESL teacher, and K-3 students, so there is not much extra room.
The two bookshelves I put on my wish list would make a world of difference. I would be able to display books appropriate to the widely diverse group of students I teach. Borrowing books at an appropriate reading and developmental level will greatly help my students acquire English faster.
By helping my students to locate appropriate books, you are actually welcoming them to our country and helping them to adjust.
Whether they stay in the U.S. or return to their native country, I want their time with me to be rich in language and experiences.
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