Kristin Grayson, M.Ed.

Building Levels of Leadership to Support ELL Success – Podcast Episode 121 | Classnotes Podcast 121

Classnotes Podcast (March 28, 2013) The demographic profile of students have always been in a state of change. But today, that change is much quicker and more dramatic. Schools must be equipped to adapt to be able to serve their student population while it is changing. This means equipping school leadership at all levels, from central office staff to principals, from administrators to classroom teachers. And where the population change includes English language learners with varied first languages, leaders need a special skill set.

Kristin Grayson, M.Ed., an IDRA education associate, describes technical assistance in leadership development that she has been providing to two school districts in Oklahoma, one of which has more than 60 languages represented. She points out, “English language learners are becoming the mainstream learner,” and educators need the background knowledge to ensure ELLs are successful. Kristin is interviewed by Bradley Scott, Ph.D., director of the IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity.

Show length: 14:55

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Supporting English Language Learners – A Pocket Guide for State and District Leaders 
By American Institutes for Research

Common Core State Standards Initiative

Common Core State Standards Initiative Español

Building Teaching Quality from the Start – New Skills for New Teachers
Linda Cantu, Ph.D., and Rosana G. Rodríguez, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter

Teaching Must be Culturally Relevant to be Quality
By Bradley Scott, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter

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Show Notes

  • Kristin talks about her work with schools in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, where she’s helping them to build strategic plans to support ELLs at all levels, from central office staff and administration to teachers in the classroom.

  • Kristin discusses the evolution of literature on educational leadership since the 1970s. She notes that the impact of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has resulted in a greater emphasis in today’s literature on the true role that classroom teachers themselves play in leading students to achieve their highest levels of academic success.

  • Kristin shares demographic data from the Oklahoma City and Tulsa school districts, where ELLs represent one third and one fourth of the total student body, respectively.

  • Kristin talks about the benefits of an online teacher preparation and ESL certification program that IDRA has used in Texas schools, and may also adopt in Oklahoma. The program is less focused on test taking and instead helps teachers learn and apply new skills and academic knowledge that they’ll need on a day-to-day basis in the classroom.

  • Kristin explains the importance of building technical self-sufficiency into the ELL training, so that districts are in position to provide ongoing training and update programs on their own, especially as the needs of the community grow and change over time.

  • Kristin shares her three big takeaways: Leadership happens at many levels, and everyone has the possibility of being a leader. School districts have to be in position to respond to constantly changing demographics. Online learning can happen in different ways and for different purposes.