In conjunction with the CABE Administrative Leadership Symposium, Californians Together is proud to release a sneak preview of the California English Learner Roadmap Teacher Toolkit with the Middle School Teacher Toolkit. Written by Dr. Laurie Olsen and Martha Hernandez, this toolkit is intended to give teachers tools to assess current practices and plan for classroom implementation of the California English Learner Roadmap.
About the CA English Learner Roadmap Teachers Toolkits:
While education policies have the intention of impacting practice, too often the language of policy doesn’t speak in the language of teaching and learning, leaving teachers to ask: What does this have to do with me? What does this mean for my classroom and my students? In the Fall of 2018, understanding the import of the aspirational and powerful new English Learner Roadmap, the California Teachers Association and Californians Together brought teachers together from throughout the state to make meaning of the new policy through the lens of the classroom. In grade-level alike groups, they read the policy closely and articulated the principles through a teacher’s perspective. The groups were charged with describing what classrooms (teaching, learning, materials and environments) looked like and sounded like that enacted each principle — crafting indicators that would be useful for teachers in reflecting on their practices and shaping plans to strengthen their work. They also described the need for tools and supports to enable teachers individually and collectively to engage in making meaning of the Roadmap, enacting classrooms aligned to the Roadmap, and being a voice for the conditions in schools needed to give life to the policy. This was the foundation and genesis of the Teacher Toolkits.
There are four versions of the CA English Learner Roadmap Teacher’s Toolkit:
The Preschool Teacher’s Toolkit, The Elementary Teacher’s Toolkit, The Middle School Teacher’s Toolkit, and a High School Teacher’s Toolkit.
Each CA English Learner Roadmap Teacher’s Toolkit consists of several components:
• The text of the policy itself as adopted by the State Board of Education
(Vision, Mission, Principles and Elements)
• The Roadmap Principles as re-written specifically by and for teachers — speaking to teaching and learning, and the classroom environment
• A Self-Assessment Tool for each Principle for individual and collaborative reflection on where strengths and potential improvements might be made in teaching and classroom practice
• A resource list of programs, connections and supports for teachers related to implementing each Principle
• Videos of teachers and students talking about the Roadmap
HOW TO USE THIS TOOLKIT
The CA English Learner Roadmap is a comprehensive policy covering all aspects of English Learner education: curriculum, school and classroom climate and culture, instruction, systems supports (e.g., professional development, leadership, assessment), parent and community engagement, and system alignment and articulation. As an aspirational policy, it is not expected that any classroom, school or district fully implements the Roadmap. And it is not feasible to work on improving all aspects of the Roadmap at once. The “road trip” towards enacting the policy entails selecting a focus, determining priorities, and then designing a path of improvement. The CA English Learner Roadmap Teachers Toolkit is intended to support that process.
We suggest that teachers – individually and/or collectively – first read the vision and mission, and do the exercise “Making Meaning” for four principles. Having done this, return to Principle #1 and use the “Self-Assessment Tool” for Principle #1. Proceed with the other Principles when ready.