While at the Models Schools Conference in Nashville, Tennessee this week, I had the privilege of meeting this year's Educator Award winners.
One of these special teachers, Victor Soria, was kind enough to let me pick his brain about his amazing READ 180 practice.Victor teaches at Grace M. Davis High School in Modesto, California.
100% of his students are English Learners who have been in the United States for less than four years. His incredible results speak for themselves (he's had multiple students win the 180 Student Award) and I think you'll get a lot out of hearing some of his thoughts.
Question:What advice would you give a new READ 180 teacher?
Victor: "I would first and foremost tell teachers to form a relationship with their students. This is the best way to figure out what motivates each student and how best to reach them. The next thing would be to seek out resources; other READ 180 teachers, the READ 180 Community, and use the tools you find. Decide what works in the classroom and keep those and try to improve on them. Discard anything that didn't work and find a replacement. I am constantly trying to find new ways to improve my classroom and instruction. There is always room to grow, innovate and learn."
Question: How do you go about inspiring motivation in your students?
Victor: "It sounds cliche, but anything worth having demands hard work. I try to instill a work ethic in my students that will serve them in all aspects of their lives. If my students invest in READ 180, they will see results. The results motivate them to invest more and in turn, see greater results. Students discover that whatever they get out is directly influenced by what they put in- this applies to everything they do and it is something they can take well beyond my classroom."
Question: What about READ 180 makes it so impactful on your English language learners?
Victor: "Inclusion. A sense of belonging. My students are English learners who have been in the country less than four years. The majority of which speak little to no English. It is an isolating feeling to be in a new country where you don't speak the language and don't know any of the customs. As students learn English, they also gain a sense of belonging. READ 180 is the key that unlocks access to not only language but a sense of community. It is amazing to see these students’ transformation!"
Question: What was your most rewarding moment as a READ 180 teacher?
Victor: "I'm thankful to say that I'm rewarded on a daily basis. My students have such a positive attitude and readiness to learn- but If I had to choose one, it would be after the last Lexile Inventory each year, when I show students the progress they have made for the entire year. The look on the students’ faces when they see their growth is great. They are often shocked at how much they have achieved."