University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Math LEAD Fellows – Graduates

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Joyleen Albarracin

School: Windham Early Childhood Center/ Windham Public Schools
Subject area: Administration of Pre-school program
Year of Graduation: 2013

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: My work with families is the base of our children of education. My concentration is to ensure that my staff is aware of the family’s needs, cultural background, and strengths. PreK is the foundation for education and it is a combination of family and school connection.

One piece of advice for teachers working with emergent bilinguals/ ELLS: Please get to know your students and their family and observe to be able to create a good partnership.

As a Math LEAD fellow, the most valuable thing I learned was: The importance of having adequately trained staff in your program. This is part of what this program is trying to accomplish.

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Beatriz Andino

School: Windham Early Childhood Center/ Windham Public Schools
Subject area: Pre-K
Year of Graduation: 2013

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: As a ELL students, I want to provide my students an effective education that helps them achieve their academic goals.

One piece of advice for teachers working with emergent bilinguals/ ELLS: New teachers need to know their students’ cultural and economic backgrounds.

As a Math LEAD fellow, the most valuable thing I learned was: SIOP model and the network that I created with my college.

Anthony

Anthony Brooks

School: Jefferson Elementary School, New Britain
Subject area: Resident Principal
Year of Graduation: 2013

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: Emergent bilinguals are the “sleeping giant” of this state. They represent a large and growing portion of our population and have unlimited potential. I work with emergent bilinguals because I feel a calling to unlock that potential and help our state realize what a precious resource we have in our students.

One piece of advice for teachers working with emergent bilinguals/ ELLS: Everyone working with Emergent Bilinguals and ELLs should never stop trying to understand their students’ experiences and how those experiences shaped them academically, socially, culturally, and linguistically. We educators often say that we know our students, but that shouldn’t suggest that we have no more to learn. It might be better to say that we are constantly learning about our students.

As a Math LEAD fellow, the most valuable thing I learned was: Without question, the most valuable thing I learned as a Math LEAD fellow is that concepts and skills we learned about Sheltered Instruction and Trans-disciplinary Math Instruction are best called “good instruction.” These concepts and skills transcend labels like “ELL” or “Emergent Bilingual.” Every teacher would benefit greatly from studying as a Math LEAD fellow, as would their students, who deserve good teaching most..

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Teresa Bulanda

School: Classical Magnet School
Subject area: Middle School Mathematics
Year of Graduation: 2013

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: I would like for my bilingual students to become successfull in school and life.

One piece of advice for teachers working with emergent bilinguals/ ELLS: Try to develop relationships with students and parents, learn about their culture and backgrounds, then teach them using effective methods.

As a Math LEAD fellow, the most valuable thing I learned was: That math teachers have to be a language teacher as well. Every teacher, including math teachers need to teach reading skills and comprehension skills. This becomes quite a task when you have emergent bilingual students in your class. I would recommend the Math LEAD program to everyone, who teaches a bilingual population of students.

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Denise Cafiero

School: Joel and Pierson Elementary Schools/Clinton Connecticut
Subject area: Elementary ELL
Year of Graduation: 2014

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: They are a precious window into the many wonderful countries existing in our world. And, they need teachers dedicated to their success.

One piece of advice for teachers working with emergent bilinguals/ ELLS: Be patient, caring, supportive and strong advocates for your ELL students.

As a Math LEAD fellow, the most valuable thing I learned was: To take the time to learn about and get to know your students and their families. Learn as much as you can about the various cultures of your students, their education and personal backgrounds and take this information into account when working with them.

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Rose Clack

School: X
Subject area: X
Year of Graduation: X

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: X.

One piece of advice for teachers working with emergent bilinguals/ ELLS: X.

As a Math LEAD fellow, the most valuable thing I learned was: X.

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Cesar de Diego Martinez

School: X
Subject area: X
Year of Graduation: X

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: X.

One piece of advice for teachers working with emergent bilinguals/ ELLS: X.

As a Math LEAD fellow, the most valuable thing I learned was: X.

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Nilsa Garcia

School: Hopeville Elementary School, Waterbury
Subject area: Bilingual Kindergarden Teacher
Year of Graduation: 2013

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: There is no greater satisfaction than to see my students academic growth from the beginning to the end of the year. My students learn Spanish and then can transition their learning experiences to English. These students are at the critical foundational levels of their learning. I have a passion for teaching children who are like sponges at this age 4-6. My students eagerness to learn, their smiles and the parental support are the things that keep me going.

One piece of advice for teachers working with emergent bilinguals/ ELLS: It is important to get to know your students background and culture so you can have that teacher-student connection. Teachers need to be advocates for their students.

As a Math LEAD fellow, the most valuable thing I learned was: The different strategies learned in class that can enhance the students learning were valuable. Also, having a connection with other educators that can support you whenever possible.

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Maria D. Guijarro

School: W.F. Kaynor Technical School
Subject area:ELL Teacher
Year of Graduation: 2013

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: Teaching emergent bilinguals is a passion and a compromise with a compromise with a community that I belong. I know what it is to be a second language learner and the challenges that come with it.

One piece of advice for teachers working with emergent bilinguals/ ELLS: You need to connect with students, you need to value what they bring to the classroom and how that can be used to positively impact the culture of the classroom.

As a Math LEAD fellow, the most valuable thing I learned was: To become a leader at my school, to validate with research and good practices and share with other teachers.

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Patricia Hahn

School: Parkville Community School
Subject area: Bilingual Grade 2
Year of Graduation: 2014

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: When I first came to the States, having an accent was a disadvantage. Them I found out that I could use my own experience as an ELL as an advantage to help other students to succeed in American schools.

One piece of advice for teachers working with emergent bilinguals/ ELLS: Learn about the stages of language acquisition. Get familiar with your students’ backgound and culture, communicate with your students’ parents, become knowledgeable and be passionate!

As a Math LEAD fellow, the most valuable thing I learned was: *Parents who do not speak English can help their children. *Teachers must know about students’ background and their culture. *Students transfer skills from their native language to a second one. *Reading is one of the most effective techniques to learn a second language.

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Pauline Murray

School: Carmen Arace Middle
Subject area:Middle School Math
Year of Graduation: 2013

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: These students have survived “in spite of.” Now it’s time for us to give them our focus and become their “voice” when they are unable to speak for themselves.

One piece of advice for teachers working with emergent bilinguals/ ELLS: Take each student individually, find out their stage of language acquisition, and work with them where they are.

As a Math LEAD fellow, the most valuable thing I learned was: We are a community of learners, we learn from each other and more importantly from our students. We share the same space, but all bring valuable assets to the table: culture, language, and personalities.

Karisma

Karisma Nieves

School: Windham Middle School
Subject area:Reading/Language Arts
Year of Graduation: 2015

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: I chose to work in a population with Emergent Bilinguals because I felt that is where I would be valued the most. I’m highly needed, and now more than ever I feel highly qualified to work with ESOL students from across the nation. I feel our emergent bilingual students are at a disservice in many situation and many districts, and I would at least like to place a change in wherever I work at or whenever I come into contact with them.

One piece of advice for teachers working with emergent bilinguals/ ELLS: Patience is a virtue. Your students and yourselves are all a work in progress. Take what you learn, read, research and have experienced and use it to the best of your ability. Dive in, don’t hesitate to help these students since they are such high need without little to any help what so ever.

As a Math LEAD fellow, the most valuable thing I learned was: Time is of the essence. I really had to learn how to manage my time with a family, demanding career, and graduate school. It was all worth it in the end and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I learned so much about others in their fields and the beautiful things we are doing for kids in our districts. My colleagues aspire me to do better and keep on going.

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Carrie Ogdon

School: X
Subject area: X
Year of Graduation: X

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: X.

One piece of advice for teachers working with emergent bilinguals/ ELLS: X.

As a Math LEAD fellow, the most valuable thing I learned was: X.

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Angela Peralta

School: X
Subject area: X
Year of Graduation: X

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: X.

One piece of advice for teachers working with emergent bilinguals/ ELLS: X.

As a Math LEAD fellow, the most valuable thing I learned was: X.

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Anna Sicko

School: X
Subject area: X
Year of Graduation: X

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: X.

One piece of advice for teachers working with emergent bilinguals/ ELLS: X.

As a Math LEAD fellow, the most valuable thing I learned was: X.

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Jennifer Sierra

School: X
Subject area: X
Year of Graduation: X

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: X.

One piece of advice for teachers working with emergent bilinguals/ ELLS: X.

As a Math LEAD fellow, the most valuable thing I learned was: X.

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Israel Velez

School: Vinal Tech
Subject area: Spanish and Career Development
Year of Graduation: 2014

Why I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs: I work with emergent bilinguals/ ELLs to support their learning based on their L1 and L2 levels and to help them in their acculturation into our school system.

One piece of advice for teachers working with emergent bilinguals/ ELLS: Instructors need to offer a learning environment where the students feel comfortable using the target language. Course activities have to be authentic where the learner can understand the language but also the culture of the target language.

As a Math LEAD fellow, the most valuable thing I learned was:

The most valuable thing I learned from the program was to create more effective ways to support the learning of emergent bilinguals/ELLs and advocate for them so they will feel that they belong in our school.