Back to top

The Newcomers: Profile of an EL Teacher

Time to complete: 

Eddie William’s newcomers class at Denver’s South High School was profiled as part of Helen Thorpe’s latest book entitled The Newcomers

We had a lot to discuss, so this is part 1 of a 2 part series. If you haven’t heard our conversation with Helen Thorpe, you can find it on Highest Aspirations Season 1 / Episode 19 anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Guided Listening Questions:

  1. How might an EL teacher and his dynamic newcomers class react to having a journalist embed herself in their classroom for an entire school year? 
  2. What partnerships might they form to learn more about students and what does this tell us about the resources schools have and do not have at their disposal? 
  3. What are some of the best things about working with students who come with such a wide array of backgrounds, experiences, and skills?

In the second of a 2 part series, we continue our conversation with Eddie Williams, the teacher featured in Helen Thorpe’s book The Newcomers. We pick up right where we left off with a discussion about one of the most common challenges that all teachers face on Season 2: Episode 14 of Highest Aspirations.

Guided Listening Questions:

  1. How might teachers handle the draw of smartphones, texting, social media in their classes, particularly when working with ELs and newcomers? 
  2. What is the appropriate balance between structure and agency when working with ELs? 
  3. How do effective coaches encourage new teachers to increase their impact without becoming overwhelmed?

Episode resources:

For more resources on this topic, check out our Supporting Newcomers Toolkit.