The Most Important Place to Start This School Year with Guest Sindy Bonilla


Click below to hear the most important place to start this school year:

As we head into the start of another school year, we want to make sure that we are creating a welcoming place for our ELLs and newcomers right away. There always seems to be pressure to get started with assessments and lessons but it is so important to slow down the first few weeks of school. Sindy Bonilla is joining us today to talk about how she starts the school year so her students and families feel welcomed and safe.

Today, we are talking about slowing down and creating a place of safety and comfort for ELL students. Sindy is sharing why building relationships with both students and parents is important, tips for building strong relationships starting day one, activities she loves to do the first couple weeks, and advice for working with refugee students and their families. 

Sindy Bonilla is an ESL & Spanish teacher for students K-8 in NJ. She has been teaching ELLs for 6 years. Sindy has worked with the International Rescue Committee to support and provide ESL instruction to refugee newcomers. Sindy is currently a student at Rowan University where she is working on her supervisor certification and completing a dual language certification program online with UCSanDiego. Sindy enjoys working with ELLs in the community and with their families. In her free time, Sindy enjoys watching sports and practicing yoga.

If you’d love to save time on lesson planning and be supported by wonderful ELL teachers from around the world, check out the  Equipping ELLs membership!

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • The importance of starting to build strong relationships with ELL students and their families at the beginning of the school year
  • How Sindy gets to know her students before school starts 
  • What you should be doing the first couple weeks of school and ideas for activities
  • How to help with the silent period and culture shock
  • Why you should be focussing on the social emotional needs of refugee students
  • How to use newsletters, apps, and other tech to help communicate with parents
  • Sindy’s tips for how to get ready for the school year

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More about Equipping ELLs:

We all know that teaching isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be this hard. Equipping ELLs is a podcast for both ESL specialists and homeroom teachers who are looking for effective and engaging ways to support their English Language Learners without adding to their endless to-do list. Tune in each week to hear tips, strategies, and inspirational stories that will empower you to better reach your ELL students, equip them with life-long skills, and strengthen relationships with colleagues and parents.

Your host, Beth Vaucher, is the founder of Inspiring Young Learners. She is an ESL certified homeroom teacher with over 10 years of experience teaching in the US and internationally. Her background of M.Ed in ESL and Curriculum and Instruction combined with her experience has led her to develop a bestselling newcomer curriculum that has sold in over 90 countries around the globe. She brings a different perspective to teaching ELLs from her years teaching and living abroad and working with ELLs from around the world. You will walk away from each episode with the ideas and tools you need to transform your experience as a teacher and cultivate a thriving and welcoming environment for your ELL students.


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