Another quarter, another class! In case you missed it, I have been taking graduate courses towards two endorsements to add to my teaching certificate: the Bilingual and ESL endorsements through National-Louis University in partnership with the Illinois Resource Center. I share this information so that you can do this too – you can move up the pay scale! They offer these courses at a tremendous discount to teachers in their partnership.
I have an actual teaching license (a Type 10 for those old enough to remember those classifications) because I’m old. The idea back in the day was to give speech paths a full teaching license so they could run a communication disorders classrooms! Yes, those existed!! Anyway, now the graduate programs in Illinois only issue “non-teaching” teaching license to SLPs. But because I have that teaching license, I need to take several classes and the Spanish test. (I believe this process in easier if you have a non-teaching license but check in with ISBE – Illinois State Board of Education). I have been wanting to add these endorsements for some time: ever since I worked for Chicago Public Schools and they encouraged all educators to get ESL certified. In fact, I passed the Spanish test through ISBE in 2008, but then I got pregnant and if you’ve had kids, you know they derail lots of plans!
Anyway, in this particular graduate program through National Louis University, I have to take six courses:
- Foundations of Bilingual Education – This course was terrific: History, Theory, and Advocacy – Requirement for both ESL and Bilingual endorsements
- Methods and Materials of Bilingual Teaching – I learned all about writing lesson plans like teachers do – Requirement for the Bilingual endorsement
- Methods and Materials of ESL Teaching – I learned all about writing lesson plans like teachers do – Requirement for the ESL endorsement
- Assessment of Bilingual/ESL Students – I took this course this past summer and I learned all about authentic assessment for bilingual students and writing rubrics that make sense – Requirement for both ESL and Bilingual endorsements
- Cross-Cultural Education – I’ll be taking this course this fall – Requirement for the ESL endorsement
- Reading in a New Language: Linguistic Considerations – Requirement for the ESL endorsement
The assessment course was really good, quite possibly the best one so far. Assessment is such a large part of our job and the focus on authentic assessment and designing rubrics that make sense is really important and valuable to me and my students. So I’m in class #5 out of 6! It feels like a real accomplishment as a working parent to get through this series.
In theory, I have now completed the bilingual endorsement and I could stop. But I think the ESL courses are super interesting. I’m thinking about keeping on going beyond the above sequence of courses (there’s another course called Technology for Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Students which looks great and is super applicable to my job) and potentially earning another masters in curriculum and instruction!! I think if I take another six more courses (after the list above) then I might have enough… taking one per quarter is manageable, thankfully. In fact, the program is flexible for working professionals so I can take even as much as six years to get this second masters done! Woohoo!!