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Celebrating College Admissions May 28, 2015

Posted by latinoschoolleaders in College Readiness.
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By Crystal Gallegos, High School Principal at Chavez/Huerta K-12 Preparatory Academy

NILSL_blogpic1When you think about high school and the significant events that take place over those four years, it brings up a rollercoaster of emotions that students, parents, and school faculty go through. As an early college preparatory high school in Pueblo, Colo. our focus at Chavez/Huerta is to push students to succeed and be college- and career-ready. So much in fact, that beginning in kindergarten and going through senior year of high school, every grade level visits a college campus and is exposed to two-year and four-year public and private institutions of higher learning.

It’s not until a student’s senior year in high school that they apply to the list of schools they are interested in attending. Excitement begins to build through the application process and is complete when the final acceptance letter is received. It is at that moment that all of their hard work has paid off.

I want to introduce you to Miss Alyssa Rizo. She is a graduating senior that aspires to be a physical therapist. During her senior year she applied to her dream college, the University of Hawaii. Alyssa recalls receiving her acceptance letter, “As I received a huge envelope with “Congratulations” on the front, it sent a chill of excitement through me and the thought “I am going to Hawaii for college!” Alyssa never imagined she would be in this position. “Never in my wildest dreams had I thought I would be going to this college, but this is it, my future and in four months I will be living it,” she said.

Applying to colleges can be intimidating when reviewing all the requirements, but knowing that support is there is essential for success. Making the grade or ACT or SAT number for admissions can be daunting for some students. No matter what, students must know that college is within reach if they desire to further their education to achieve their career goal.

Miss Marisa Beltran has done just this.

“I was a bit discouraged about applying to colleges because of my ACT score, but I did it anyway,” said another student, Marissa Beltran. Marisa applied to seven different universities and was accepted to six, but she had her sights set on Grand Canyon University. She recalls when she received a package from GCU, “I opened it and confetti flew everywhere. When I read “Congrats” my heart stopped.” Getting into the college she had her heart set on helped her believe that a score would not determine her future.

Every year thousands of students go through the college admissions process. This is an exciting time in their lives as they prepare to set the pathway for their future career. They will be the next generation of nurses, lawyers, teachers, mechanics, and to them I say “Congratulations!”


The Effective Teacher May 1, 2015

Posted by stclaireadriaan in Principal Effectiveness.
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Mr. Andrew Persin, Effective English Teacher at Academia Avance edutaining his 8th grade class.

Mr. Andrew Persin (standing, center), Effective English Teacher at Academia Avance “edutaining” his 8th grade class.

Effective – describes a particular teacher who has been most successful in helping students gain knowledge and skills to be successful academically, personally, and plays a major role in forming their character. An effective teacher can be summed up in 3’E’s; educator, edutainer and an edumedic.

The Educator: reaches out to students and their families before the start of the school year to introduce themselves and gather important information about the students he is about to teach. They inspire and build positive relationships with their students on day one. The educator makes sure that on day one they have an enticing way of sharing his expectations. Key to creating an environment of learning where students feel welcome, and forming a pact with them regarding their success in class. In the classroom, I used to get all of us standing on our desk singing a modified version of the Monkee’s song, “I’m a Believer”.

The effective teacher also enjoys teaching and seeks to find the root cause of student’s misbehavior or academic performance. They work to restore relationships instead of pushing children out of class or school. It all starts with a well -planned differentiated lesson that the teacher designed himself keeping each of their students in mind. The execution of the lesson plan is delivered meticulously with the teacher not being afraid to adjust the lesson based on the data, checking for understanding, and ensuring that students are learning. The effective teacher knows how to correctively instruct in various settings; such as individually (one to one), in small groups and whole class based on observation, data and self-reflection.

The Edutainer: describes the effective teacher who educates their students while entertaining them as they participate actively in their own learning. Their classes are riddled with the “joy factor.” The effective teacher creates and presents the instructional materials in a fun and novel way that will help the students’ master and remember the materials.

The short video shows how I infused music, art, humor and fun into Math lessons as a teacher. By using this method, English Language Learners experienced and learned to conceptualize many math concepts. An effective edutainer uses whatever it takes to motivate, excite, stimulate and peek students’ interest in their lesson presentations. The eudtainer is not shy, nor afraid of organized chaos where students are learning while having fun. All forms of media that students are engaged with every day, whether video games or social media is exciting and fun, the edutainer is able to hold their attention in class and help the students to have focused fun while learning.

The Edumedic: – describes the effective teacher who identifies the needs of the student’s earlier learning experience and digs into their repertoire of tricks to rebuild and close the gap through targeted explicit corrective instruction. Each Friday, the Edumedic prepares a targeted packet for each individual student based on the data from the weeks classwork, homework and exit tickets. The goal is to provide practice and support to strengthen each student’s achievement in the areas that they were having difficulty in.

Classes can be divided into homogenous groupings during independent work time. This allows the teacher to work with each group at a pace that will enhance mastery. Struggling students can meet with their teacher before or afterschool, as this allows an opportunity to pre-teach the day’s lessons and prepare them for class later in the day. The recovery process in terms of academic gains will be enhanced because it leads to greater participation, self-confidence, and mastery of the material. The edumedic knows exactly what each student requires and provides each student with access to learning through differentiated instruction.

There are only two types of teachers, the effective teacher and the ineffective teacher. The effective teacher narrows the achievement gap because he is an educator, an edutainer and an edumedic. He believes in the potential of every student and sets out to make sure that every student learns in his class daily.