My name is Deanna. I have been teaching in the public school system in the Chicago area for the past eighteen years. Throughout my career, I have continued my education in order to learn new techniques and strategies to use with my students. I also have experience tutoring adults in English, as well as teaching adult ESL classes at local international academies.
I am lucky enough to have had the opportunity to acquire a second language as an adult (Spanish). I believe this has allowed me to relate to my English learning students better. In my free time, I enjoy creating mosaic art, exercising, and playing pool (billiards).
My relevant Work Experience (over the past 18 years) includes:
Fulltime ESL public school teaching to grades K-9 in Oak Park, IL; Guest teaching (ESL adults) at the International TEFL Academy in Chicago, IL; Full-time Bilingual/Sheltered Classroom Teaching in Aurora, IL; and Guest teaching to (children) at University International in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
My education/certifications include:
-TEFL & TESOL Certification consisting of 180 hours of coursework (6 courses); and 10 hours teaching practice in July 2016.
-Reading Teacher Endorsement consisting of 270 hours of coursework (6 courses); and Passed The Reading Specialist Test in June 2014.
-'National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification' with a Focus on 'English as a New Language/Early Childhood-Middle School' in November 2009.
-Bilingual Education Teacher Endorsement in Spanish consisting of 270 hours of coursework (6 courses); 3 months teaching experience; and passed the Spanish Proficiency Content Test in March 2008.
-English As a Second Language Endorsement consisting of 270 hours of coursework (6 courses); and 3 months teaching experience in August 2006
-'Master of Arts Degree in Education (Curriculum and Instruction)' consisting of 495 hours of coursework (11 courses) in July 2006.
-'Professional Educator License/ Elementary Education Teaching Certificate' in December 2000.
- 'Bachelor of Science Degree' in Education from Northern Illinois University consisting of 600 hours of Education coursework in May 1999
-Language Arts Endorsement consisting of 270 hours of coursework (6 courses) in May 1999.
My teaching approach has changed over the years. What I have found most effective has been using a combination of several approaches. I believe in using English 'only' to teach English. I incorporate pictures throughout my lessons as well as Total Physical Response to help ensure comprehension, especially of new vocabulary; I use sentence starters to lower the anxiety levels of my beginning students; and I provide opportunities for my students to share and practice the language. When providing verbal student practice in the classroom, I like to incorporate cooperative learning activities using both games and movement. These activities help my students have fun and stay focused on the lessons instead of getting lost in verbal lecture. The games also give me alternative ways to informally assess my students. I know that my learners are able to retain more when they enjoy the lessons. Also, the activities provide opportunities for my students to communicate with each other and use the English language in context rather than just memorizing new vocabulary. In addition, I like to bring in realia to show the class when possible to help promote interest. However, allowing my students the chance to use the objects themselves in context with the language is even better. Finally, I make sure to differentiate the text to meet the English level of my students. Sometimes this requires a lot of extra prep work-especially if I am writing the exercises myself. However, the extra prep ahead of time pays off in the end. I want my students to feel successful, yet challenged. Working with a text that is too easy, just bores them. However, working with text that is too difficult, frustrates them completely.
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