BAP081 Teaching ELs Online with Drew Courtney and Michelle Shory

Connections!  This episode offers us some practical tips and amazing inspiration from Michelle Shory and Drew Courtney.

Michelle and Drew are ESL instructional coaches from Louisville, KY.  We get to hear about how they are supporting teachers and I do my best to convince them to start their own podcast.  (It would be great!)

A good part of this show is about how they went about teaching summer school this year.  You’ll hear their lessons learned and great tips for connecting with ELs even when they face challenges like tech issues and serving students who hold jobs.  You’ll be inspired and will likely have some tangible take aways to implement tomorrow after you listen!  Find the show on your favorite podcast app or listen right here:

Listen to “BAP081 ELs Online with Shory and Courtney” on Spreaker.

In this episode, Drew & Michelle emphasize how well they together.  I’m grateful for their example and it makes me reflect on the opportunities we have to collaborate with others not only in our physical spaces but also in our PLN. In fact, that is how I met these two.  We follow each other on twitter and we’d love to connect with you.  You can find us here:  @MichelleShory,  @MrCourtney_ESL & @MsSalvaC

During the show, I mentioned this post by Drew as something I use in my workshops:

Here are slides I use to show teachers how we can also annotate objectives online. Modeling this technique and explaining the research by John Hattie (Teacher Clarity and Clear Goals have significant effects on learning) is just one example of how we can partner with teachers to see a strategy that will boost learning for all students.

In this podcast show, Michelle references a great book by Zaretta Hammond: Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain.  We read this one in the #ELLChat_BkClub group and it is amazing!

Michelle also offers us a great tip from Dave Stuart Jr. when he was on the Cult of Pedagogy podcast.  Here is that episode about creating moments of genuine connection online with students.  The tip is about using waiting rooms to admit only 1 or 2 students early to have an authentic conversation.  What a great idea!

Along these same lines, we talked about this tweet by the amazing Esther Park.

I was so inspired by the vulnerability Drew and Michelle showed as they engaged the students with projects, conversations and even a guest speaker to address racism and events happening in Louisville.  They also studied and had a Google Meet with Emily Francis who I mention often on this show.  We talked about the authentic connection the students had with Emily after they listened to her new podcast.

My students studied Emily as well.  We used blog posts she shares about her journey to the US from Guatemala.  All of your immigrant students should at least know about Emily. And I recommend you follow this amazing high school teacher who shares so much.

A few other things mentioned were:

Talking Points – they used this to send individual messages to students as it translates for you. (They have since moved to a district vendor)

RemindLarry Ferlazzo wrote about using this app to reach out to students individually.  He writes about the significant difference it is making when he reaches out to a few each day.

The show is packed with more insight and you can also get a great deal more from Michelle if you check out her ELL2.0 website.  She and & Dr. Irina McGrath offer so much support there:

Also check out their VirtuEL session that offers tons of practical advice for working with ELs in distance learning.

I’m so excited that Drew and Michelle are considering starting a podcast.  If you do follow them, be sure to ask them about it. 🙂

Thank you for taking time to check out these notes and I hope you had a chance to listen to the show.  I appreciate Michelle and Drew so much.  And as always, I appreciate YOU for stopping by.

Take good care,


PS:  Reach out if I can support you with ESL training.  I’m excited to be working with districts and school boards across the US and Canada to offer innovative ways to deliver professional learning.   Flexible hours after school, on weekends and through book studies are some examples of how we can support you.

Also check out the UPCOMING EVENTS page!  I hope to connect with you soon.

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