About Claire McMahon

"Knowledge indeed is a desirable, a lovely possession." Thomas Jefferson

As an ESL teacher there are a few things that I wish would change in education today. These are things that specifically relate to English language learners. Of course, there are other aspects in education that could do with some tweaking, but for today The focus is ESL.

1. Licensing. Teaching English to speakers of other languages is not a required course for teacher candidates. There seems to be a lot of misunderstandings among other teachers about what ESL teachers do and that is in part because they have not even been partially trained. The system is to blame and that needs to be changed. If there is a state that does require a TESOL class for all teachers, please sound off in the comments below. I would be interested to hear how those classes are received and work.

2. Parent Outreach. I didn’t say parent involvement for a reason. Many times parents of immigrant children are either afraid to go to school events or don’t understand that it is culturally expected. Schools need to make a conscious effort to include parents of ESL students. Translators need to be made available. Schools often have parent workshops and events and will frequently offer translators, but parent workshops for ESL students are often not readily available. This can be especially difficult for schools with a smaller population of English learners. If whole parent workshops and events are not possible, than classroom teachers need to be made aware of how the lives of these students are often very different from the general education student sitting next to them. Click here for reasons 3-4.

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