On October 8, Natalie LaFlamme (Fairgrounds Middle School); Lorna Spargo (Nashua High School South); and Kelly Comeau (Elm Street Middle School) spoke to district administrators at the district’s Prinicipals’ Meeting. The trio shared examples to highlight the specific ways their instructional practice has changed as a result of their participation in the GATE CITY Cohort. Some examples they offered included increased use of native language opportunities in the mainstream classroom to support the development of a second language or academic language in content areas; the difference(s) between social and academic language; and insights gained during home visits.
They also shared their own challenges as second language learners over the summer in Spanish. Natalie brought handouts to highlight some of the changes she has made in her own classroom as a result of what she has learned. According to Lorna, much of what they shared was surprising, enlightening, and at times shocking to some of the principals, who were eager to hear about the program. In Lorna’s words, “The three of us spoke in harmony at the end affirming and finishing each other’s sentences as though we had taught together in the same room. We left the principals with the concept of the goal to lower students’ affective filter.”
Thanks to each of you for sharing. This is just one way we are building capacity throughout the district. Please send other examples as they arise to Emily Kerr so that we can stay informed about each other’s work.