Voices of NABE: What I Wish I’d Known

This week on the ML Chat Podcast we are excited to bring you our final episode from the Voices of NABE Series where you get to hear directly from the ML Community that joined us at the 2023 NABE Conference.

On this episode we ask educators the question “What do you wish you had known when you started your career?”.  Tim Blackburn and Justin Hewett discuss their answers and dive into the insights they provide for all ML Educators. 

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[00:00:00] Justin Hewitt: Hi everybody. Welcome back to the ML Chat podcast. We are going to continue our series of interviewing multilingual learner educators from nabe at Portland this year. And today we’re gonna dive into and talk about what they wish they had known earlier in their career or right out the gate that has made a big difference for them.

[00:00:25] Justin Hewitt: So you’re gonna love this buckle up. Tune in and let’s go. To get us started, we are gonna go to New York and talk with Shakira and Kat Perez.

[00:00:35] Interview: I. I would say differentiation and scaffolding and learning how to do that in a classroom with students from different backgrounds, different learning styles and all of that.

[00:00:45] Interview: How to take one lesson or one theme and making sure that I have everyone in mind when I design how to execute specific lesson or theme, I think is something that I wish I, I knew that it was important and also how to do when I first started as well. Yeah. And I would say too, like I think during the program we learned about universal design of learning.

[00:01:06] Interview: So it wasn’t until I started, I learned how to cater to all students and learning styles and things of that nature. And just catering to all the modalities. And I feel like had I known that like earlier on, maybe just like incorporating that into everything. I don’t know.

[00:01:21] Interview: It’s just been a cool thing to learn and knowing that you can cater to a lot of people. When I first started teaching and comparing, my, my origins ’cause I was a preschool teacher before doing this graduate program and like thinking about my origins versus now and learning about in this graduate program that we’re in all about translanguaging and allowing like students to del their languages.

[00:01:42] Interview: Yeah. To be proud of their mo different languaging and moving through those modalities of languaging. In a way that’s not in a hierarchy. I wish I knew that the value of incorporating that in the classroom experience and how valuable it is to like a child’s self concept, to prioritize that and do that in the classroom space or in the, for us in the clinical space as well.

[00:02:02] Justin Hewitt: Tim, there is a lot to unpack there. Shaquita and Cap Perez had some wonderful ideas and you can tell that the future is bright when we’ve got educators like this coming into the fold. What jumped out to you the most, from Shakida and Kat?

[00:02:16] Tim Blackburn: Other than being from the Bronx that near and dear to my heart, that’s where I grew up as a teacher.

[00:02:22] Tim Blackburn: So when I heard that my, my heart started to sing. But to Shakira and Kat, thanks so much for for sharing. And Justin, for me there were, two significant, themes that, that emerged from. From the comments and certainly that have come up in our prior discussions in our NABE series, right?

[00:02:42] Tim Blackburn: So that’s pretty validating. Firstly I loved how it was described, how the power of translanguaging and honoring all of the language our students bring to school and the impact on our students’ self-concept, and when I think about that, I. It can be a little vague, to think about, say, a student’s linguistic, social and cultural funds of knowledge.

[00:03:07] Tim Blackburn: Translanguaging offers a very tangible way, for teachers to actually honor those funds of knowledge by creating the space for students to use their full linguistic repertoire in class. And we think about, language as a door, to culture, right? And I just so appreciated the way that.

[00:03:25] Tim Blackburn: In a very thoughtful way that our colleagues, offer trans translanguaging as an approach for creating a classroom environment that, that honors what our students know and are able to do with all of their language.

[00:03:38] Justin Hewitt: Yeah. That is so powerful. And I was wondering if you were gonna talk about, where that you get started in the Bronx too.

[00:03:44] Justin Hewitt: How far? Oh, yeah. Lot a fun connection. We’re gonna have to make even some more connection with Shakira and Kat. But yeah, one of the things that really jumped out to me is I’m listening. The importance of Translanguaging is just, evident. As the more and more we get in into this work and the more research that shows up, we really learn so much about.

[00:04:02] Justin Hewitt: Building on the language that students are bringing to the work. The one piece that I loved was them talking about, taking one concept or one unit and going deep with it, trying to use different modalities, adjusting it for the students that they’re going to teach, and really just trying to differentiate for each student’s learning modality each student’s needs, each student’s assets that they’re bringing to it.

[00:04:26] Justin Hewitt: And I just, I love that thinking because For teachers who are at the beginning of their career, to be thinking this way is really powerful. And I guess my question that I wanted to ask you, Tim, as I was listening is, I remember talking with you about your early days as a teacher and you were just trying to keep your head above water like you didn’t realize you were supposed to take.

[00:04:46] Justin Hewitt: Like attendance. And when you hear, these teachers that are coming in and they’re talking like this and this is their perspective, what does that make you think, from these folks? And how difficult is it to differentiate when you’re at their, early? Yeah, I,

[00:05:03] Tim Blackburn: that’s actually the first connection I made Justin, as I was hearing was I had a principal who, who shall.

[00:05:09] Tim Blackburn: That was my, my, my second principal at my school in the Bronx, my first school. And he used to practically jump up and down exhorting us as teachers in a staff meeting to differentiate our instruction. You must differentiate your instruction conceptually. He was reminding us that we needed to differentiate for our students.

[00:05:33] Tim Blackburn: But as a novice practitioner, I didn’t yet have the skillset to really know what that actually looked like. I had no mental model for it. And what I appreciate about how our colleagues went on to actually. Provide a framework for how we can actually think about differentiation and practice.

[00:05:54] Tim Blackburn: Using universal Design for Learning U D L provides a framework to support a framework to really reach our students, where they’re at. And it’s that sort of framework that can help us, through our lesson design to make sure that we’re amplifying, language and concepts and really pushing our students to greater depths of knowledge while recognizing that everyone’s gonna have different entry point for those particular skills, concepts and, and language.

[00:06:24] Tim Blackburn: And again, to Shakira and Kat. I really appreciate how you specifically reference a framework to help us, do something that’s actually quite hard, the classroom of close to 30 kids, that’s, it’s no it’s no small feat to meet everybody where they’re at and making sure everybody gets what they need.

[00:06:42] Tim Blackburn: That’s right. That’s right.

[00:06:43] Justin Hewitt: And I, I just love that they’re coming in with that mental model, right? That it’s not just, somebody jumping up and down and telling them to differentiate, but they’re able to walk in. The classroom with, u D l in their mind of, universal design, learning and being able to think about each of these students and try to understand them.

[00:07:01] Justin Hewitt: I I have six kids, which is a lot of kids, and I will tell you every single one of them is different. And I have a hard time just differentiating for my six kids and their needs and. Being able to parent them the way that they need to be parented. And I just recognize to be in a classroom with 25 to 30 to, sometimes even more students in differentiating is a significant task.

[00:07:24] Justin Hewitt: And it really does take, experts and professionals to really impact those students and drive, drive the lesson home for each student in the way that they can take it and run and build on what they know and what they have. And I just I love this work and I’m just so grateful for.

[00:07:39] Justin Hewitt: For our educators who are committed to differentiating instruction for students, this is great.

[00:07:44] Tim Blackburn: Yeah. I just had a, speaking of mental models, I just had a picture of your family. Six kids. It’s like a basketball team with one person in reserve. Yeah. Yeah. It’s more like you’ve always

[00:07:56] Tim Blackburn: got one on the bench.

[00:07:57] Tim Blackburn: It’s

[00:07:57] Justin Hewitt: more like a circus and we’re just trying to not have the lions eat us, that’s great. Stand on one foot on a ball over here and stuff, a basketball team makes it feel like we’re in concert, in unison, and all working on the same. Yep. Everybody

[00:08:11] Tim Blackburn: we’re working together.

[00:08:12] Justin Hewitt: I love it too.

[00:08:13] Justin Hewitt: All right, next we are gonna go to Illinois, the Homewood School District 1 53. Where we get to speak with them. Marice, Woodbury an EL teacher. Oh,

[00:08:24] Interview: it sounds very simple and silly, but I wish I knew how important visuals were. To everyone, not just our English language learners. Yeah, just visuals and reality and how important it is to make things that students feel are abstract.

[00:08:43] Interview: Very literal and relatable. And so not only are we teaching them the content, but we’re also teaching them the language to access the content. And with science and social studies, it’s so important to build that vocabulary up and build up that background knowledge. So we use a lot of visuals prior to delving into the unit.

[00:09:02] Interview: To explain the vocabulary and describe the vocabulary. And then with our K through second graders, just a simple book on storytelling or the steps of a story. Having pictures and having them retell and use that aura. See and reading is really important. And so visuals are, to me, the foundation of everything.

[00:09:22] Justin Hewitt: All right. Thank you, tammar. We’d love your thought and your idea here about the importance of visuals and. Helping, take the abstract and make it more relatable and more approachable for students. Tim, when you listen to here and she’s talking about, the importance of visuals, what are some of the best practices that come to your mind as far as how to use that, incorporate that in the classroom?

[00:09:47] Tim Blackburn: Yeah, there’s so many entry points actually. We think about, this comment, it’s actually not terribly far afield from the prior comments we heard from Shakira and Ka and that is the notion of offering just a multitude of entry points. We offer students visuals and Alia because of, the power of students making connection to their lived experiences.

[00:10:10] Tim Blackburn: It’s really simply it’s an invitation for students to, to share the language, the skills the experiences that they’ve had both in school and outside of school. And to build upon tho those connections. And so teachers really have this wonderful opportunity by offering visuals, by offering Alia for students to bring in these, concrete connections to then, and I loved how she, she said this making the abstract.

[00:10:40] Tim Blackburn: Relatable. And having that sort of concrete foundation of language and experience to actually draw upon when you do get into more, say, abstract class concepts.

[00:10:53] Justin Hewitt: And especially with our multilingual learners, right? Typically they’re bringing language into that classroom or into this new environment.

[00:11:00] Justin Hewitt: And an image is a great way to be able to make that connection that you’re talking about. And to be able to. Be able to draw that immediate connection. And, it’s one of the things we were actually surprised by with Flashlight 360 when we rolled it out initially.

[00:11:16] Justin Hewitt: We had built it for the multilingual learner who was learning English and. In the very first building where that we put it in in Stansberry Elementary, in the Granite School District the principal looked at it and he says, oh we’re gonna use this for our dual language too, and put it into, the class where they’re doing Spanish immersion.

[00:11:36] Justin Hewitt: And here students we’re able to. Lang, label in their heritage language, speak in Spanish, write in Spanish. And it was just really neat to be able to then have them do that same activity in English. And the teachers were able to look at that connection, be able to see how students were growing, where they were strong, where they had some room for improvement, where they could, incorporate that into their lesson plans.

[00:11:59] Justin Hewitt: And it was just, it was so interesting for us, but. All of it came down to be able to have that, that visual, that image that the students, could talk to speak, to use their language, and it just it really did drive home that, that ability to connect and build on that student’s experience and prior knowledge and experience.

[00:12:20] Tim Blackburn: It’s a concrete example Justin. And I think further, again, going back to the comment from Shakira and Kat, The, the reference to visuals and Lia also is a, just a beautiful way to offer students the translanguaging space. That is using all of their language to make connections to, as Damari said, these abstract concepts.

[00:12:44] Tim Blackburn: So it doesn’t necessarily have to be in English, these concepts, but by offering a space where students bring their, say their home language into the classroom, to then build upon that by making connections across language. It’s a great example. Very concrete. Oh, so

[00:13:00] Justin Hewitt: concrete and so so powerful.

[00:13:01] Justin Hewitt: And I love how these are building on each other. Kim I’m just sitting here and I’m thinking what if I’m in a district that maybe, maybe we’re not talking a lot about Translanguaging and we don’t do a job of honoring, students’ heritage language, in part because maybe we don’t have the resources to do it.

[00:13:19] Justin Hewitt: I don’t speak Spanish or I don’t speak. Whatever the language is, Chinese that the student is coming in and it’s harder for me to be able to honor that, that heritage language, how, what would you say to that teacher or maybe that EL director that’s just getting started?

[00:13:35] Justin Hewitt: EL coordinator, they’re just stepping in. They’ve been in the classroom now, they’re trying to run a program and they’re realizing how behind, you know they are and how much work they have to do. How do you begin that process of going, from not really recognizing it, not honoring the heritage language, not going down the translanguaging route, with students and helping them use both languages.

[00:13:58] Justin Hewitt: Like where do you get started

[00:14:00] Tim Blackburn: in that way? Yeah. That’s a thoughtful question. And I hear this a lot like a reluctance to offer students a space to use their home language and. Fundamentally we have to understand that it’s not about us as teachers. That we have to create this space, right?

[00:14:19] Tim Blackburn: We don’t have to know all of the languages in order to have a productive translanguaging experience. But rather it’s our job, in our lesson designed to offer students the opportunity to show us what they know and can do. And by availing, say a great way to do this would be say Image analysis. I love using image analysis where I would often take a a visual that is somehow conceptually related to a concept.

[00:14:47] Tim Blackburn: We’re going to, we’re gonna analyze as a class and then put that on a big piece of chart paper. Give students a designated color for a marker and just ask them to mark up what they see in the image. And basically what you get is a. Just a beautiful semantic map of all of the connections students are making to the image, irrespective of the language.

[00:15:11] Tim Blackburn: When I think about my former classroom, no. I, yes, as a Spanish speaker, I could, I could, support my students with like discreet connections between English and Spanish, but, French proficiency isn’t good. Certainly my oloff proficiency wasn’t very good for my Senegalese students, and heck, I, no, I didn’t speak Manko, Jula, or Berry for.

[00:15:34] Tim Blackburn: And all this to say is that it’s not on us as teachers to know these different languages, but rather avail the space for students to make connections between their language. And so image analysis is a really great way to do it. Quick writing is another, wonderful way to encourage students to make connections to their home language.

[00:15:55] Tim Blackburn: And of course there are, even more concrete ways to do it with say Frayer models are great way for students to analyze vocabulary with a multilingual lens.

[00:16:09] Justin Hewitt: I love everything that you just said, but the thing that I love the most was when you said it’s not about you as a teacher. No. It’s about your student. And once we put the students at the heart of the matter of course Translanguaging should be a piece of the process, right? Of course. We wanna build on the language that these students bring, to this, to their journey.

[00:16:31] Justin Hewitt: This is not our journey. This is not my journey. This is their journey. This student’s journey to learning English, to, to, building their knowledge and understanding. And frankly, we want them to build their heritage language more too, right? That’s, the worst thing would be to, learn English and fade away on their native language, which we,

[00:16:48] Tim Blackburn: but that in a sense is a shift, Justin, right?

[00:16:51] Tim Blackburn: I started as an E S L teacher, 20 plus years ago. And we didn’t talk about that. And in fact we, the discussion was how to. Create like an English rich environment and unfortunately a lot of that instruction was subtractive, as a school district leader, I interview families all the time.

[00:17:10] Tim Blackburn: That Tell me about the adverse impact of the E S L programming had on them as students, and now their children are in additive, bilingual programs or in integrated E L D programs that really flip the. Flip the script, so to speak. It really runs counter to the mental model that our families have for having isolated experiences and, during their e l d time.

[00:17:36] Tim Blackburn: It’s interesting that,

[00:17:37] Justin Hewitt: that parent if you’re that parent and you grew up. Where, the school system was trying to take away your Spanish, if you will. And here you’re trying to pour it into your student, or you’re, you might be a little confused, not knowing exactly what the right way is to approach, educating and raising your child, right?

[00:17:53] Tim Blackburn: Yeah, that’s exactly right. And so when we call out Translanguaging, specifically I really like to offer it as It’s not like a moment in a lesson, but you think about it as a multitude of moments. It’s really a biliteracy practice that encourages our students to make these connections.

[00:18:11] Tim Blackburn: Oh,

[00:18:11] Justin Hewitt: that’s fantastic, Tim. That’s great. Hey, thank you Tamez for sharing to a thoughtful idea from Illinois to get us started and talk it through that. I really enjoyed that conversation. Yeah. Next we’re gonna go to Connecticut. One of the first school districts that I worked with, actually up in the Northeast in Meridan, Connecticut.

[00:18:31] Justin Hewitt: We’re gonna talk with Cat Magazine.

[00:18:33] Interview: I think letting students talk, really inviting a culture in the classroom where students can talk or they can collaborate or they can bounce ideas off of each other and build language based on differing levels of English language proficiency or whatever the target language proficiency is.

[00:18:49] Interview: This.

[00:18:51] Justin Hewitt: Wow. Thank you, Kat. I love that. I love your energy and I love that you’re talking about letting students talk. Building a culture of collaboration. You can tell like she just oozed passion and energy around that. Tim my question for you is how do you just let students talk and it not become pandemonium?

[00:19:09] Tim Blackburn: Pandemonium. I like that.

[00:19:16] Tim Blackburn: Certainly are what I Next colleagues and feeling some how to say, like hesitation around okay how do I take myself out of the center of the dialogue, right? And really compel our students to to talk. And I really like to think about this in it, in a, it through a lens of task design.

[00:19:37] Tim Blackburn: It’s not just a free for all, right? But it’s offering students quality prompts, a quality structure, and then something to actually do with that talk. And Justin, you might remember that a number of weeks ago at the start of the summer, I got to participate in a. In a week long institute with Aida walkie and it was a week long, workshop on interaction, on quality student interaction.

[00:20:10] Tim Blackburn: Oh, how could

[00:20:11] Justin Hewitt: I forget, Tim? You came back flowing for like the next two weeks. I think so, yeah. No,

[00:20:16] Tim Blackburn: definitely. Yeah. I, and I’m still riding that wave, of the, just like the excitement, around High quality professional learning and I felt particularly engaged by having a framework that, a framework to offer students space to connect in a meaningful way.

[00:20:34] Tim Blackburn: And of course, developmentally that’s gonna look, different, at, say the primary grades in the elementary between the, say, grades three through five and in elementary. And then certainly it’ll look different as our students grow through middle school and high school.

[00:20:49] Tim Blackburn: But, Fundamentally, it’s really a question of who’s doing the thinking. And Justin, I like to think about this oftentimes as like almost like a traffic, like the traffic pattern in class. If the traffic pattern is such that, the information goes from teacher to select hands in the air.

[00:21:15] Tim Blackburn: It gives an awful lot of time for students to fade into the background and to tune up. But rather what my experience and, with Aida Waki and Qto offered me was just like a new framework to think about how we can use quality prompts and routines to pass the thinking onto the students that collectively, Students are building new understandings.

[00:21:39] Tim Blackburn: Maybe it’s, opening the lesson with, say, an image analysis. Students are contributing their thoughts in a common space and a common image. And then they share those thoughts with partners at their table. And then the table comes to consensus on the things that they want to share with the rest of the class.

[00:21:58] Tim Blackburn: And then I offer my students a routine Novel ideas only in which every table is responsible for sharing the collective thinking that they generated from from the prior task. That is, what I learned in the, in this institute is that it’s really about these sort of iterative cycles of students generating ideas and then contributing those ideas for the you, the benefit of the class.

[00:22:24] Tim Blackburn: It’s really a collective a collective. Learning frame.

[00:22:28] Justin Hewitt: You’re welcome everybody for that framework and that model that Tim just gave you. That was amazing. Tim. I love how you know that, you know here, I know that, I know it’s a, it’s a big part of your thinking and that, it’s near and dear to your heart, but clear intended learning, like you just went through and built that framework and each of those activities builds on itself.

[00:22:49] Justin Hewitt: And that’s how you, I. End up with not having just chaos and pandemonium in the classroom. It’s not a free for all, as you mentioned. It’s really, it’s really constructive because of the intention that’s put into it. And I’m guessing that’s what Katt was talking about when she was talking about having a culture of collaboration.

[00:23:05] Justin Hewitt: It’s working on projects like you just detailed out and talked to. There was one thing specifically that you. Asked the question and you talked about it as a traffic pattern, Tim, but yeah. Of who is doing the thinking and as I’m, as I, do you mind unpacking that, just even just a little bit more, I know you used an example of, if it’s just from the teacher to the student or to the students and you’re waiting for responses, there’s a lot of room for students to fade into the background or fade in and out of the conversation or whatever it might be.

[00:23:35] Justin Hewitt: What’s another way to think about that? Sure. Yeah,

[00:23:39] Tim Blackburn: sure. How about pinging pong? Pinging pongs? A really good way to think about it too.

[00:23:46] Justin Hewitt: I love pinging pong. Can you give us more of an example?

[00:23:48] Tim Blackburn: Yeah. I think we’ve probably all either from our own mental model, from our own mental, not our own experience in school or perhaps, we have the experience of, even in our own classrooms, right?

[00:24:00] Tim Blackburn: It’s, I’m the teacher. I have a question, I ask the question to the class, select students in the class, raise their hands, and then they swap the answer back to me, right? And then I, and I swat it back again with a question, and then the hands are up again and. It, it assumes a number a number of things that that questioning right is firstly that all of your students are participating in a meaningful way and say, we know that typically not the case.

[00:24:30] Tim Blackburn: In a classroom of, 26 students, there’s an awful lot of opportunity to. Check out. A dear friend of mine refers to this as expecting and creating the conditions for 100% engagement. And by, by taking away the ability to opt out. But rather you’re leveraging the social impulses that our students have to make connections with their peers.

[00:24:56] Tim Blackburn: That foundationally, this is about sociocultural, language learning that our kids want to be social, right? And so it’s about harnessing that through quality prompts, quality texts and quality routines, right? Recursive, iterative routines that encourage our students to. Kind of process, make meaning, share ideas, build on their schema, and then share that thinking for the benefit of the class.

[00:25:26] Justin Hewitt: And we talked about the importance of routines in our last episode and went deep into that. But I can see that in a classroom that’s only gonna happen, what you’re describing as far as. The collaboration, the collaborative conversations among students.

[00:25:44] Justin Hewitt: That’s only gonna happen if a teacher walks in prepared, first of all to drive, with that mindset. And not only that, but I guess with the confidence, I don’t know, I guess it, I just feel like it takes a lot of faith to, to go down that road because teachers have to give up some control.

[00:26:06] Justin Hewitt: And they’re having to give up control of that conversation. And instead of them driving that conversation they are transferring the ownership of that conversation to each of the small groups to then, take it and run with it. It’s just an interesting thought, for me.

[00:26:21] Justin Hewitt: Is that a good way to think about it?

[00:26:23] Tim Blackburn: I really, yeah I really like to challenge the, just the thought around I am, giving up control, right? I really don’t see it that way. I see of it more as as a question of pedagogy. That by cre, with either through quality prompts, Interesting texts, relevant texts, giving our students ideas to grapple with and providing some guardrails around it that I really what was really clear to me as a participant in this, in Aida’s workshop for instance, is that, Every person and every group was accountable at the end of the task for contributing, contributing their thinking.

[00:27:06] Tim Blackburn: That fundamentally there’s a accountability there. Now, if you were to juxtapose that in the, to the pinging pong metaphor, it’s only that one student with their hand raised that is accountable in that moment, right? What are the other students doing? And oftentimes as a, as a coach for instance, something that I often do is I’ll draw a map.

[00:27:29] Tim Blackburn: There’s just like a discourse map in the of the classroom to point out like where the, where the discourse patterns are. Yeah. And oftentimes, you’ll find them going to either, predictable voices. When you think about, say students that might be reluctant to share are not compelled to share.

[00:27:47] Tim Blackburn: So they can very easily fade into the background where while say more, more eager voices, share their contributions with raised hands. And so to put a bow on this the, that prompting, relying on partner work. Small group work, consensus building routines. These are ways that we can encourage all of our students to participate in a meaningful way instead of say, an eager few students that, that are wanting to raise their hands and share.

[00:28:22] Justin Hewitt: That makes a lot of sense to me. I really appreciate you breaking it down like that. I love that too. And next we’re gonna Next Kim Kaiser, a print, a proud principal of Grissom Elementary from Houston, I S d.

[00:28:37] Interview: I learned a lot in the GLAD training today, and it talked about just basically the visuals, the hands-on, and really making biliteracy just amazing for students by.

[00:28:48] Interview: Respecting and adopting their culture and making systems strong so that you can support

[00:28:54] Justin Hewitt: students. Tim, I love hearing a principal, talk about the different strateg instructional strategies. I, that, that might be used to support students. I just feel like there’s been a big shift over the last 10 years in what we’re asking of principals and I love it when they step up and they really are that instructional leader for

[00:29:13] Tim Blackburn: their building.

[00:29:15] Tim Blackburn: Yeah, absolutely. Justin. I, and I think, for me the, my primary connection to Kim was actually. The energy in her voice, the enthusiasm. And I am not surprised to hear that sort of enthusiasm, from a colleague that just attended a GLAD training. Yeah glad is really language rich, happy instruction, in a and in a classroom using GLAD strategies.

[00:29:39] Tim Blackburn: You’ll often hear chance. You’ll hear all voices in the classroom, singing making connections to to class concepts, to language. It really is a very happy place to be Justin. And so the enthusiasm there I think is reminiscent of what it feels like to actually be in a classroom that is practicing a glad framework.

[00:30:04] Justin Hewitt: I love that. And that’s why she’s the proud principal.

[00:30:06] Tim Blackburn: So that’s why she’s the proud principal. But anyone that’s interested and glad you might, look into it, guided language acquisition design that’s a effectively professional learning for offering your students language rich learning.

[00:30:21] Justin Hewitt: And that might be a good place to start. Earlier I had talked a little bit about, if you were a new EL coordinator stepping into a role, trying to. Bring a department or a program into the, into 2023. Yeah. You know that. Yeah. That sounds like that might be a good place to start, maybe.

[00:30:37] Tim Blackburn: Absolutely. It’s super tangible. And if you want to find a, it really is a pretty like content agnostic, frame to offer teachers ways to, to amplify their lesson design, right? By, by making it language rich. Yeah.

[00:30:55] Justin Hewitt: And if you are interested in learning more about them, you can check out their website.

[00:30:58] Justin Hewitt: It’s be Glad training.com.

[00:31:01] Tim Blackburn: I am very impressed with Glad, it has a really amazing structure to help with the shelter instruction, so I really wish that most of the educators are exposed to it. ’cause it’s gentle and it can be applied to any language. And for me as an administrator, I wanna be able to support that work that my teachers are doing.

[00:31:17] Tim Blackburn: So for glad, that’s something that we’re gonna be working for year to be able to train, not just my bilingual teacher, but also because it’s not just a program in silo. Like we need to be able to provide that same instruction, the instructional strategies, building wide so that everybody understands and can integrate with our kids.

[00:31:34] Tim Blackburn: ’cause it’s not just the bilingual kids, it’s every kid jazz hands. Yay. I just, yeah. Wait. I just absolutely loved that comment, Justin. First of all, I should recognize our colleagues from the great state of Oregon and the Phoenix Talent School District. So it’s so cool to hear voices of our colleagues represent representing Southern Oregon there and Phoenix talent.

[00:32:00] Tim Blackburn: I don’t know about you, Justin, but I was just moved by the emphasis on a language rich experience for all students because it’s not just for, bilingual students, but rather offering a language rich experience for all students within a classroom and having, a structure for doing it, for having routines, for doing

[00:32:21] Justin Hewitt: it.

[00:32:22] Justin Hewitt: That’s right. And it really is a culminating thought, really, like for my whole, everything we’ve been talking about today. My favorite was just as we were listening to Ika and Alida talk. I just loved I pretty sure I saw you dancing in your seat over there.

[00:32:38] Justin Hewitt: Just love the excitement in your voice because, or in your body language. Just because, frankly, like this is the work, right? This is. This is the work we’re on. The mission that we’re on, to a large degree is to, provide educators with these frameworks.

[00:32:54] Justin Hewitt: And these mindsets that just shift, how the work is being done in the classroom. And I, we hear them mention GLAD again. But really I just love that they’re talking about, creating language rich environments that’s just awesome.

[00:33:07] Tim Blackburn: This is, in, in no way a, a counterpoint justin, but rather I think just another way to look at it. And that is really, through the student experience. And thinking about the, really the contrast of and perhaps this is actually a theme throughout our discussion. Today is thinking about this through the lens of student engagement and how our students are part, participating joyfully by interacting, with their peers.

[00:33:34] Tim Blackburn: In, in contrast to say, More traditional modes of, of a classroom where a student might be more, passively en engaged in, in their class as a listener. But what about, having a framework to design lessons that really makes, students connect, share thinking and collectively build new learning.

[00:33:58] Tim Blackburn: I think that was certainly the, the connection I made to our prior comments and certainly what I heard from our colleagues in Phoenix talent.

[00:34:08] Justin Hewitt: Yeah, most definitely. And I love that, the, just this idea of the student centered, experience, right? And when I hear you talk about the joy of the student, going on this journey.

[00:34:20] Justin Hewitt: I love it and I think that it’s the truth, right? If we, man, if we can infuse joy into the student’s journey, I think it’s a lot more enjoyable for our, for our teachers as well, for our leaders. It just, it is more of a shared, there’s more spirit. There’s a, I was taught by a mentor a, a number of years ago about esprit de core, the spirit of the group.

[00:34:41] Justin Hewitt: And I think that when people are all, when we’re working in this way, there’s a lot more collaboration. When there’s a lot more collaboration there’s a lot more joy. And I think there’s just a there’s something to that, that, frankly, I think if there’s a lot more joy, there’s probably also a lot more growth.

[00:34:57] Tim Blackburn: And again, just, closing the loop here from some of the other themes that we’ve heard come up this morning, it’s really the intentionality, required in designing tasks that, that connect students, through, relevant, engaging prompts. That is, you had mentioned is it a free for all?

[00:35:15] Tim Blackburn: Is it pandemonium in class? Like how do I go about it? Project GLAD Quality Teaching for English learners. Q Tell, these are basic. Oh, even understanding excuse me. Universal Design For Learning was another framework we discussed today as well. These are basically pedagogies.

[00:35:35] Tim Blackburn: They’re frameworks that we can think more critically about the ways in which we design tasks that engage our students in meaningful ways. So how do we take ourself out of the center of that traffic pattern as the air traffic control, so to speak, for the classroom? No, we can, use prompts, we can use tasks that, that connect our students in making meaning of new ideas and sharing their thoughts and all with the purpose of, building, collective understanding.

[00:36:05] Justin Hewitt: And I think that one of the big things, we’ve talked about, probably really in, in a lot of episodes is the importance of having these routines that we have in the classroom, right? Sure. Yep. And I think part of it is we free up working memory by jumping into our routine.

[00:36:23] Justin Hewitt: There’s less decisions we have to make. It takes less energy. Because it’s just, it’s what we do. And when I think about, these frameworks and these structures, for, from a teacher’s perspective, like that’s what that is doing. It is, it’s giving, teachers the ability, it makes a few less decisions that maybe they have to start from scratch to create a process to be able to create that language rich environment.

[00:36:46] Justin Hewitt: To be able to focus on students and differentiate and do some of these things is because now they have this framework that. They can, plug in the different activities to to have a collaborative conversation that each task builds on itself, like you walked us through earlier, right?

[00:37:03] Justin Hewitt: Where if you don’t have that model, it can be really paralyzing, I think, to try and figure out how do I build this out? And just really overwhelming.

[00:37:13] Tim Blackburn: It’s crazy making, it can be really overwhelming if you don’t have a pedagogy to rely on. And, if that pedagogy is glad. Wonderful.

[00:37:22] Tim Blackburn: That’s excellent. I happened to grow up, under the mentorship of Aida Waki, and I was really inspired by lesson design in three moments and on prior podcasts. We’ve discussed the three moments as a lesson planning framework, but it’s also principled in that.

[00:37:44] Tim Blackburn: It privileges, student interaction, that making sure that I have high quality prompts and making sure that I have interesting, relevant texts to compel my students to, to yes, make connections with their peers, but also make connections to new ideas. And so I think, whichever framework you, you land on does having one that has a reliable pedagogy to help you, plan your lessons really ensures that your students will have a coherent experience and class, a highly engaged experience in class and making sure that our students are building their language concepts and skills simultaneously.

[00:38:33] Justin Hewitt: Well said. That’s beautiful. And I’m not sure we can add any, anything more to that, Tim, what an amazing day today. Like I have loved go, going through all of this, these wonderful conversations that, that we had at nabe and just really appreciate, our colleagues and and folks that participated and lent their voice to this conversation to be able to really help us, drive this forward.

[00:38:55] Justin Hewitt: And I. Thank you everybody. Thanks. Thanks for, to Shakira and Kat and DeMare and Kaino and Kim Kaiser and ela, mark and Erica Ika Ochoa. That was fun. That was a lot of fun. And Tim, thank you. I think this is really appreciate your leadership and your insight and these ideas are hopefully, getting out there to go impact, our multilingual learners throughout the nation.

[00:39:19] Tim Blackburn: Yeah. Thank you Justin, and thanks to all of my colleagues.

[00:39:22] Justin Hewitt: Hey, thank you for tuning in to the ML Chat podcast as we continued our conversations at nabe. We’ll look forward to seeing you next time.


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