SEETEL (Strengthening Equity and Effectiveness for Teachers of English Learners) held its first Summer Institute July 23 to 26. More than 60 educators from participating partner school districts Bayless, Carthage, Columbia, and Kansas City attended the four-day conference at University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Speakers and session leaders offered their expertise on a range of issues impacting current educators, including policy and recent policy changes, current pedagogy, child psychology and development, and bilingual education. Through it all, the core take away was that educators must embrace English learner differences as strengths rather than deficits. Importantly, the Summer Institute offered insights and benefits to any educator with influence in a learner’s life – not just the language educators. A key facet of the message was that all educators can use the different and unique experiences of a child’s background to complement and enhance not only that child’s education, but the educational experience of all the children in the classroom.