Our 9th grade English I class is a team-taught class. My co-teacher, Mrs. Yonahara, and I work together to provide interesting and engaging lessons for this large, mixed-ability class. Our students are all 9th graders;many work below grade level and struggle with basic reading and writing while a few are advanced. Of our 36 students, 25% have learning disabilities and another 25% are learning English as a second language. Over 75% of the class reads below grade level. Many of our students receive free or reduced-cost lunches and other services. With two teachers, we provide individualized and small group instruction that is tailored to each students needs. These students learn in many different ways: visually, tactilely, aurally. In order to meet their needs, we look for innovative ways to present our lessons. Our lessons might include the use of technology, manipulatives, craft supplies, and real world scenarios.
Mrs. Yonahara and I both hold Masters degrees in Secondary Education and have taught for a combined 17 years. We use our knowledge of creative and effective pedagogy to engage our students and present lessons that can be applied to real-world scenarios. Even so, many of our students come from households where there are no books or magazines, their parents work long hours, and there is little adult supervision or guidance. In order to make our lessons relevant and to encourage our students to succeed, we look for innovative ways to educate.
Innovation often requires supplies that we dont have. We would like to increase access to technology of all types for our students. Many of our students do not have consistent access to computers or Internet resources. Without frequent exposure to and use of these materials, our students will be ill-prepared for the job market. Therefore, we want to buy a class set of flash drives to enable our students to more effectively research and to organize information. Second, we would like to have a set of 12 Ipods to use in creating podcasts, videos, and other projects. We would also like to create a classroom library of popular and engaging fiction and non-fiction, journals, and periodicals. Comfortable seating and storage for reading materials would also be needed. Our students bring little knowledge of the world around them into our classroom; reading can broaden our students perspectives, increase their vocabulary and make them better prepared for post-secondary education or a job.
Thank you for supporting our students!