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From curriculum development to training teachers, I use my teaching experience to improve the educational experience of students with diverse backgrounds and learning needs. I have taught at both the high school (Gymnasium, grades 9-12) and junior (2-year) college levels.


I always set high expectations for my students. For example:

  • While teaching English in the inner-city of Philadelphia (US), my students were often absent or facing challenges at home; yet when I gave a mini-lecture on the history of the English language, they took notes--not only practicing an important academic skill but suddenly interested in how words arrived in the English lexicon.
  • As an English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) teacher, I created a 2 month unit on environmental protection that included deforestation, water and air pollution, biodiversity and agribusiness. I also taught my students to write a 5-paragraph essay, since mastering the skill of presenting logical arguments was so critical for their academic careers.


Expectations are not enough. Teachers also have to understand students' backgrounds and learning needs. While some of my ESL students arrived in the US at grade level, others had only had 3 or 4 years of schooling by age 15. Breaking down concepts into smaller parts, using simple language, even drawing quick sketches on the board enabled me to bring complex material to students who had been in the country less than a year.






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© 2020 Rebecca Laes-Kushner