"He must increase, but I must decrease."

Friday, November 2, 2018

Getting Subject Specific in ELL

When you think of an ELL classroom what first comes to mind? Children practicing the English alphabet, repeating English words and phrases, or using flashcards? All of these are tools an ELL teacher can employ, but there are many other ways a teacher can teach non-native English speakers. There may be times that a teacher has to teach specific subjects in the ELL classroom, because the students are falling behind in their regular classroom. For example, the teacher I work with has a group of fifth graders to whom she teaches Social Studies. These students are given the opportunity to leave their regular classroom during a set time and spend an hour with the ELL teacher going over the same book as their peers, but with the help they need.

There are several benefits to teaching ELLs in this way. Teaching a subject in the ELL classroom gives those students a chance to catch up with their peers, helps them be able to take the subject in smaller bites and ask clarifying questions, and they receive more content that American students may not need.

Students in an ELL classroom are usually at the same grade level in every way, in fact, if they were taught the same material in their native language they would learn just as quickly as their English-speaking peers. Teaching them in English throws a curve into their learning process that specific subject focus in the ELL classroom can help. 
Focusing on a specific subject can also give EL students an opportunity to take things as they can and ask questions when they don’t understand. The environment may also give the students more freedom to ask questions about something that may seem like common knowledge to everyone else. They are less likely to be embarrassed by their own ignorance,

We all know that culture plays greatly into education. Some of the students that end up in the ELL class have very little background in American culture. This is where the ELL teacher focusing on specific subjects can be useful. Going back to the example of my practicum class, non-native students will have little to no background for United States History, so having them in the ELL classroom gives the opportunity to stop and explain why certain things are happening what something means.

Being an ESL student in a regular class can be hard, but the ELL teacher can be a great help. By not only teaching students how to read, write, speak, and listen in English teachers can help them to grow in their understanding. Taking time to focus on a specific subject for those students that need it will help them stay on track with their peers, receive the subject in manageable parts, and learn more content not required by their American counterparts.

Monday, October 29, 2018

An assignment for my TESL class

Dear Parents,
Welcome to our school. We are so glad you have chosen to join us in your child’s education journey. You are receiving this letter to let you know about one of the resources your student can receive should they need it. Our school is privileged to have a wonderful English Language Learning (ELL) program with brilliant teachers. We and our teachers have worked hard to ensure that every student that may need this program and their parents are made aware of it and what it will entail.
When you attend our school, you will fill out a form indicating whether your child’s primary language or the primary language spoken in the home is something other than English. Upon receiving this form our ELL teachers, depending on your answers, will give your student a test that will let us know where they are in their English proficiency.
If they score in the range of being highly proficient that’s great! Our ELL teachers will be available to them if they are in need of extra help, and we will only give them a test every year to make sure they are still keeping up with their peers.
If your student scores in the range of beginner or intermediate English proficiency that is also great, because our ELL teachers will be excited to work with your student on their English, so that they can continue to grow in their proficiency and continue learning with their peers.
Each student is different, so once it is confirmed that your student will get to join the ELL class, our teachers will work on deciding what kind of practice and learning your student needs in order to best gain high English proficiency. In the ELL classroom students will work on Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening in English. Your child will attend the ELL class along with other students during times that are best suited to their learning. Students usually attend ELL during a reading hour in the normal classroom, so that they do not miss regular classroom teaching, and they can work on this area in the ELL class. Our ELL teachers strive to have good communication with our classroom teachers so that students do not miss special events or speakers in their class. Our teachers also work together to ensure that what is taught in the classroom is reinforced in ELL and vice-versa.
If you ever have any questions about what your child is learning in ELL or any concerns, our ELL teachers would be glad to meet with you either over the phone or in person to discuss your questions and concerns.
We hope this information has been helpful to you and look forward to having your student as part of our school family.
School Principle
ELL Teacher
ELL Teacher

Sunday, April 23, 2017


Today I met a World Race alumni that lives in my town and attends the seminary. It was, in human terms, completely by chance. My church was not having service due to working in the community. I ended up following a group of friends to their church, after some nudging from the Holy Spirit, where thie fellow Racer shared about what God has her doing now.

Today after church I read some World Race blogs, they made me cry and long for that life and community. I miss the depths of trust and relationship with God and people. I miss the miracle stories and the fun adventures. I'm proud of the ones I love who are still out on the field or have returned there.
Today while settling in for some focused homework time I received a message from a friend asking if I'd be willing to connect with her sister who is interested in going on the World Race. Excitedly I said yes. I love talking about the moment that God used to completely change the direction of my life and do more work in my heart than I thought possible in just short of a year.

Today I am dreaming of and longing for the world, for adventure, for deeper depths with/into Christ. Today I am reminded that I was created for much more than sitting still and watching.
Today God reminded me of the joy I had when I fully trusted Him with reckless abandon and put action to it.
That is who I want to be. I want to be a girl so devoted to God and His word and so in love with my Savior that I have no fears and caution is thrown to the winds. I believe God has led me here this far, but I have allowed the ideas, the concerns, the "safety" of culture to overshadow the truth of His freedom and calling. I have convinced myself I need to be frozen in place to complete the task given me.
It is not true.

I can move freely in the calling God has laid before me. These paths are new, but they are still laid by the same One who called me to the world, to be wild in my love for Him, and to live out joy. I can do all those even as I fulfill His right now plans.

Monday, March 27, 2017

I'm Not on the World Race Anymore

Location: Medellín, Colombia
Team: Steve, Tanner, David, and myself (yeah, being the only girl has its blessings and curses)
Mission: Spread the Love and Light of God

We arrived in Medellín, Colombia on Friday. The Seminary we are staying at is beautiful!  It is on the side of one of the mountains and so much of the city can be seen from the balcony (it's not quite the roof but it'll do). Just about everything for the first three days has given me flashbacks to my time in South America while I was one the World Race- the view, the work (painting), the language (and lack thereof on my part), the food (mangos, naranjillos, empanadas- oh my!), and the people. There's only one thing, I'm not on the World Race anymore. I didn't think about it much for the first four days. It wasn't until last night when I was journaling, asking God why I was here that it hit me.

Let me back up.

Tuesday our team joined a group from a local church and went out evangelizing door-to-door. We had a good time, made new friends, and saw forty-four decisions to follow Christ! Unfortunately, I was not feeling invested. I was going through motions of giving my testimony, allowing for translation, presenting the Gospel using an EvangeCube, and listening as the local team member prayed with the person. It was a great experience, but very exhausting. It was not how I would have done things based on my Race experience.
That's what led me to wonder why God sent me on this trip. It was as I was questioning that God hit me with a novel thought- this trip is not the World Race. Though I learned so much while I was on the Race, it is time to let go of the Race itself. I cannot make every trip I go on fit into my "World Race" shaped box. I can keep the lessons and the memories, but I have to move forward. God challenged me to take off the "World Racer" title and live the "Kingdom Builder" title.
Both last night and this morning I asked God to remove anything of me, including the World Race, and instead fill me with His Spirit. He did! I was still exhausted as we went door to door, but I had joy in what we were doing. I got to see beauty, excitement, and encouragement as I walked the streets of Medellín with my team spreading the Light and Love of Christ.
I may not be on the World Race anymore, but I am doing something even better. I am building the Kingdom of God.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Here We Go Again

I have entered another season of fundraising. I really didn't want to; I honestly hate asking people for money. I have pushed it back, prayed for miraculous provision, and hoped I could make enough money to meet my fundraising goal. I have tried so hard to keep from asking people for money...again. Don't get me wrong, I cannot put into words how thankfully and blessed I am when people have given in the past to various mission trips. I guess in some ways I'm still "too American" as a missionary.

Yesterday God called me out on this lack of humility, and even as I write He is showing me more. I was asking Him how I was going to do this. He invited me to go on this trip, so where are the funds? That's when I heard Him, "Ask My people."
"But, God, I really don't want to ask people for money- again."
"Um, ah...I've asked so many times over the years. What if people are tired of it?"
"Don't you believe I will speak to My people on your behalf?"
"...yeah, well..."
"Do you trust Me?"
*groans* "Yes."
"Ask My people."

So here I am asking you, friends. I'm inviting you to join me again for another Kingdom journey to spread the Gospel.
*Pause:That is another thing God reminded me- on top of being prideful in not asking for help I was also robbing you of being a part of the collateral blessing from this trip.*

Basically I need $300 by the end of this month and another $600 before March (the total cost is $1,895).

This time I will be going with One Mission Society (OMS) to Colombia. There is actually a very small group of us going, but God doesn't take size into account. We will be working with a seminary in MedellĂ­na doing manual labor, teaching, ministering in a local prison, and helping with street ministry. The trip takes place over spring break, March 13-17, and will also help me fulfill an Asbury requirement for cross cultural experience.

If you feel led to donate, checks can be made out to One Mission Society. The picture below is of the response card. I can also send you a copy of it in the mail.

I cannot thank each of you enough for every way you have helped and blessed me over the years!!

Through Christ,

Friday, August 5, 2016

Little did Bilbo and I know...

Today I feel a little like Bilbo Baggins- a simple, unassuming person who went on a great adventure.

Growing up I was the girl that, while all my friends wanted to get out of our smallish town, wanted to stay. I had everything I needed right there, why leave? I was the little girl that cried at night when I thought about growing up, because I knew it meant leaving home.

Looking back at that little girl I smile, for little did she know where God would take her.
Little did she know that she would carry the gospel literally around the world.
Little did she know that she would live in another state for a year.
Little did she know that by saying yes to God and one ten day adventure her life would never be the same. She would never look back at that moment in regret, for with that simple yes the world was open to her.

So yes, this morning I feel a bit like Bilbo as I get ready to embark on yet another adventure. Each one continues to stretch me and change me, but unlike Bilbo; when I come to my last adventure I will not feel thin "like butter scraped over too much bread."  No, I shall feel full, because God is leading me on this journey. He fills me every day as He calls me closer to Him.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Boxes and Bounderies

One of my favourite things about my church is the way we have broken out of the box of what "church" looks like. We have not only broken out, but we've crossed certain boundaries too.


Did you noticed the terminology I just used there? Box, boundaries, broken out, crossed. Those words cause me to stop and think a minute. A box has to be broken out of whereas bounderies can just be crossed. There is something significant in that.

I really hate boxes! Bounderies are great. I have bounderies to who I am. You have bounderies to who you are. But for goodness sakes don't try to neatly put me in a box! Bounderies imply space also. Space to roam and grow. Space that hasn't been seen by everyone even me.

A box says, "Here you are. I have you safely contained in these four walls and a lid of who and what I think you are. You can't go anywhere. This is you." The problem with that is it gives me no room to grow, to spread out, to stretch, or to learn. A box has no mystery to discover!

Give me boundaries and I will flourish. I will grow in the space I am given. I will stretch. I will discover hidden things. I may see the sky and decide one day to fly. I may outgrow the boundaries and have to set up new ones. There will be times I'll test the boundaries and maybe even cross them; I will learn.
Who I am is ever changing. My personality is a living thing that needs to have the okay to grow and be shaped by God.

Do not put me in your box of lables; let me roam the fields within my own (God's) boundaries of who I am. Encourage me to grow and ask myself and God who I really am to be. Call me "further up and further in" to who God has designed me to be, but don't be angry or surprised if I choose to stay within my boundaries or instead soar from them.

Even in my changing, growing, stretching, and shaping know that who I am at my core will remain the same. The identity God has given me will not change, it will only be made more firm in all my growing.

Let us learn not to put each other in boxes, but instead be willing to cross some boundaries and learn to love each other where we are.