10 Important Leadership Tips for Dual Language Teachers

1. Aim High

Ambition is a virtue found in all successful people. You have to set high targets both for yourself and for your students. For instance, dual language teachers can set a goal to increase the number of hours they spend giving extra lessons to students who are more familiar with the partner language. If you raise your expectations for your students, it may inspire them to work harder.

2. Motivate the Disadvantaged

A society can only be as strong as its weakest link. Different students come from different backgrounds in terms of race, class, or religion, especially in Dual Language Schools. Some students may be disadvantaged in some way in comparison to the others. For instance in dual immersion schools, there may be a significant amount of ESLs, who may not know how to speak a word of English at first. The teacher’s duty as the leader is to encourage the disadvantaged children and give them the confidence needed to improve their performance.

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3. Professional Development

We live in a very dynamic world. As technology advances, humanity continues to replace old things with new and better things. The education system has not been left behind. To keep up with modern trends, teachers need to continually seek professional development so that they can build on their skills and become better teachers. Utilize the Dual Language Schools Guide to Start a Successful Dual Immersion Program, and our Job Board to post jobs/ find jobs to find qualified teachers and positions!

4. Assessment of Students

A good teacher has to be able to evaluate her students and identify the ones that need more help. There are many student assessment methods, the main one being exams. However, there are other methods teachers can use to track their students’ progress and put in place intervention measures if need be. Be creative with your Dual Language technique!

Continue reading to find more tips to utilize in your classroom..

5. Inclusivity

Teachers have to ensure every student feels included or participates in the class. They should track the progress of every student equally to ensure all students move at the same speed. This can be a challenge particularly in dual language schools where some students may have difficulties learning one language.

6. Create Opportunities for Learning

Learning is always easier when explained practically. Teachers are encouraged to use practical methods of teaching where possible as opposed to theoretical methods. Taking academic trips is also recommended to break the monotony of the classroom and also to learn in a fun way. Involve bilingual parents so they feel included and provide family engagement at home!

7. Parent Partnership

For students to perform well, all stakeholders involved must play their roles. The teacher should create partnerships with the parents, the business, and the community at large to ensure the students get all the help and support they need to excel in their studies. This is especially important with the community, so that they are supportive of the Dual Language community!

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8. Promote Biliteracy- Be a Strategist

Every move you make has to be well calculated. As the teacher, you are the leader of the ship. You have to plan how and when you will cover specific topics, or when to take tests. Create flexible plans in case there is something that needs an adjustment. Be flexible! Implement biliteracy in your own life so students can see someone they admire doing what you are preaching.

9. Reward Success

Leaders have a duty to motivate their followers. Students respond well to a reward system for academic achievements. A reward can be a major source of motivation for students to work harder. A great way of doing this is by organizing academic competitions and rewarding the winners, and motivating the ones that did not. Talk about and implement the pathway to the Seal of Biliteracy- a great tool for motivation!

10. Have Fun!

Students tend to have a lot of pressure outside the classroom, especially Dual Language students and ESLs. Understand that, and make sure that learning is a fun experience for them. The more fun they have learning, the more they will want to continue doing it, which will allow them to pursue opportunities like the Seal Of Biliteracy- which provides opportunities for a lifetime!

Dual Language School leadership requires a lot of dedication and sacrifice from teachers. To be effective leaders, teachers need to have a high level of interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence. The important thing is to ensure students are provided with a conducive learning environment and equipped with all the learning tools they need.

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Patricia Griselda Pérez
Author: Patricia Griselda Pérez

Dr. Patricia Pérez holds an A.A. from Ohlone College: B.A. and M.S. degree from California State University, East Bay and an Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco. She serves as an educator, consultant and teacher coach, which provides professional development, curriculum development and multicultural awareness services to local and international educational institutions and corporations. Dr. Pérez is fluent in Spanish and began her career as an elementary school teacher in a bilingual classroom. In the past two decades, she has developed a wide range of experience working at every level of public education, providing support to educators and directly to students. Her interest focus on promoting educational excellence through equity in order to overcome institutional barriers that confront underserved students of diverse backgrounds. Dr. Pérez is also an accomplished writer and has published in the areas of multicultural education and organizational management and leadership. She is a contributing author to Multicultural Education in Practice: Transforming One Community at a Time and Collaboration and Peak Performance: A Multidisciplinary Perspective for Emerging Leaders.

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