Author and summary: This research article was written by Dr. Sarina Molina about changing demographics and how teachers are coping. It appears that many teachers quit the profession very early in their careers. This seems to be mostly from a lack of support from their institution and the fact that they are not trained to deal with the large number of cultures inside the classrooms. Many are white monolingual teachers trying to educate bilingual multicultural students.
Thoughts: I think awareness of this as a teacher is important, especially for veteran teachers and prospective teachers. By knowing about this before entering the profession, prospective teachers can have a more realistic vision of their future career. On the other hand, veteran teachers that are aware of this can take more time to support and scaffold the experiences of new teachers in an attempt to ease them into the profession, rather than dumping them into a classroom they are unprepared for and overwhelmed by.
This experience of overwhelm and unpreparedness is something that I experienced in my first year in Korea at the public middle schools. I was lucky enough to change to a private elementary school that had a ton of support and it made all the difference.
In fact, 22% of the teachers leave the profession in their first four years of teaching (p. 2)
The purpose of this study is to make a small attempt at understanding one facet of the unfortunate phenomenon of teacher attrition by gaining some insight into the ways in which a small number of teachers manage—or, possibly, fail to manage—the challenges of working with ELLs. Specifically, the study will explore the challenges identified by a small number of teachers, the ways in which they approach these challenges, and their understanding of the relationship between the challenges they face in working with ELLs and teacher attrition. (p. 3)
Children were really low academically and I started to feel like a bad teacher even though intellectually, I knew that wasn’t the case. I kept on trying new things, and I can understand the frustration. Typically, brand new teachers get put into a classrooms that are a challenge because the teachers that have been around a while find ways to manipulate the system, let’s say, and so the brand new teachers get into combination classrooms, with two grades, and two or three languages. It’s frustrating and challenging. (p. 10)
But they’re trying really hard, yet still it seems like from my experience in the other school I worked at, I felt lucky if I had five students meeting the grade level at the end of the school year out of a class of 20. And so the challenge is that they don’t meet the standard, and it seems like year after year they fall further and further behind. (p. 11)
I barely speak Spanish or any other language other than English. I have had, the majority of our ELL students are Spanish speakers. I have had Chinese students, though as well. So the challenge is always the same. How do you communicate? So, I use a lot of layman’s sign language. I just show them physically what I’m looking for. (p. 12)
I think bilingualism goes a long way. If a teacher knows the language or has an understanding of a romance language than he can tap into the cognates or whatever it happens to be and say, “You guys know this word. What’s this word in Spanish? Oh, so you do know this word and you do know what it means. You just didn’t translate it yet.”
It is the vocabulary that is the big barrier between any type of language (p. 14)
having someone they can latch on to, who is willing to and sometimes they have to, you have to seek that
Last year, we spent a lot of time talking about what was going on in Uganda and Rwanda and there’s always this kind of idea that nothing is ever limited to the textbook or to the classroom, but that everything is applicable in every way, shape and form in all aspects of their lives and in all cultures and that they are unique and that they certainly share similarities with many different cultures and with many groups of people. (p. 19)
it seems if I were at a school of say rich, white kids who all spoke English perfectly that if I have talents, my
He makes the case that experiences are generalized from one situation to another for the individual and all experiences even those that are empirical need to progress through Piaget’s schema model of assimilation, accommodation, integration and differentiation. A single case study, according to Donmoyer (1990) has the ability to give readers access to an experience they may have otherwise never had, provide a framework in which to understand the theoretical viewpoint of the researcher, but also have enough space to create one’s own interpretation, and distance the readers from the sense of defensiveness commonly associated with the telling of direct experiences that might bear some threat psychologically (p. 22)