When the teacher becomes the learner…

I promise to get back to the blog series about the amazing work going on with our students and the National Compadres Network’s social/emotional character development curriculum this weekend (Xinachtli camp this week, Joven Noble last week).  For now, I am taking a little bird walk to share the latest happenings at English Learner Portal.

deskI had planned to spend a chunk of my summer giving English Learner Portal a greater web and social media presence.  Get the website up (https://englishlearnerportal.com) – check!  Create a Twitter account (@EngLrnPortal) – check!  Create an Instagram account (englishlearnerportal) – check!  Post more to the Facebook page  – check!  Research a platform for delivering online professional development for teachers – check and instant gauntlet thrown!  I learned quickly how rusty my tech skills have become!

I found the platform and dove in head first.  For the past two weeks I have been watching webinars, reading blog posts, exploring numerous technology options for video editing, meeting with various creative colleagues, participating in my first Google Hangout call to share ideas, clicking a lot of clicks and wondering how I got to where I was, …  I now remember how much I love to create professional development and I also remember how exhausting it is to learn new technology!

This is the home page of the English Learner Portal Online School.  Isn’t it beautiful?

teachableschool

That was the easy part!  Now it needs courses and students!  I am 3/4 of the way through creating our first online book study for teachers through this new platform.  My head is spinning from all of the technology options out there, but it is a true joy at the same time.

IMG_6123Our first book study will be “Boosting Achievement – Reaching Students with Interrupted and Minimal Education” by Carol Salva and Anna Matis.  I ordered this book a few months ago after seeing it on Twitter.  I know many programs and teachers struggle with reaching our students who come to us with little English and little formal education, especially those who are coming to us as teenagers and young adults.  I thought the book was very easy to read and provided a good mix of research and practical examples that I could implement tomorrow.  I reached out to Carol and, to my surprise, she gave her full permission and excitement to create the online book study!

So, when my brain is on overload and I’m dreaming of computer screens and video edits, I remember that soon teachers will be able to join the book study and take advantage of not only reading this great book, but also the variety of related resources we’ve gathered to support teachers of newcomers as well.

Please stop by the new online classroom at http://englishlearnerportal.teachable.com and click the “Enroll Now” button.  That enrolls you into the “school”.  Once you are enrolled there, you will be the first to receive notification when this book study opens, as well as many more professional learning opportunities to come!

If you have any feedback or suggestions, I’d be happy to hear from you!  Please email me at info@englishlearnerportal.com.  I’ll be back to the blog soon with more about Joven Noble, Xinachtli, and my technology learning curve!