With the beginning of a new academic year, educators around the world have been welcoming new families into international school communities. Both as an educator and parent, I appreciate the effort needed to build this essential home-school partnership. Teachers’ blogs, school calendars, back-to-school nights and hand-written notes sent home in backpacks - all serve families by building a welcoming school community. You provide a crucial bridge. As you get to know multilingual learners and new families, you have an opportunity to discover each student's unique assets. You gain valuable information about the children who join your classroom: from language assessments, interest inventories and parent surveys.
September is also when teachers go back to school. Consider how WIDA can help you set professional learning goals. Explore new research or online resources for members of the WIDA International School Consortium. Sign up for a WIDA Institute to welcome new teachers into your learning community. Send a team to a WIDA Symposium to harness the power of a networked global learning community.
Teachers who take the time to find out about students’ passions, experiences and dreams – and the many languages in which they dream – gain a more complete picture of students' lives and identities. At WIDA, we believe it is essential to develop and share multilingual student portraits with all teachers, to collaborate and build on each student’s assets. It is gratifying to hear from schools around the world how working with WIDA has transformed the conversation and helped educators discover what their learners can do.
Jon Nordmeyer, International Programs Director