For the sake of succeeding

EL teachers and students are trying their best to make sure that they succeed despite the schedule changes


Emma Main

Peddie in a khan ah a tlawngta ca tuah a bawm. Peddie in a tlawngta pawl hi a bawm thei tawk in a bawm rero.

Knowing that their students are struggling because they do not speak proper English, EL teachers are striving to make sure those students are still able to succeed. They say they’re doing things differently than they have in previous years to help.

“Students don’t know how to find things in Canvas yet, so I made that part of my lesson plan” EL Department Chair and teacher Amy Peddie said.

Peddie says Canvas is a big issue for these students since the website uses new vocabulary words that they might have never heard of in their first language. To help them with this struggle, Peddie makes Google slides to help them learn the vocabulary words.

“One of the first things I did in my class was I created a Google Slides presentation that just explained the vocabulary in Canvas,” Peddie said. “I also asked them where they were having trouble (in Canvas) and showed them how to use their calendar.”

Peddie takes information she gathers and shares it with other teachers as well. She sent out a newsletter explaining some of the places where the students are having trouble.

Like Peddie, EL teacher Hiba Al-Awadh has also done things differently in order to help her students throughout this new schedule. According to Al-Awadh, she does the best she can to make sure her students understand what they must do.

“I give them a couple of minutes in class to look at the modules I put online, so they can look through it and see if they have any questions,” Al-Awadh said.

Regarding her students, Al-Awadh further explained that one of the most prevalent difficulties they face is not being in school full time. Many of her students want to return to the normal schedule and go to school five days a week instead of only two because they want to get as much help as they can get from her.

Al-Awadh also tries to talk to her students once a week to check up on them. She says she prepares them as much as she possibly can within her range of abilities.

While teachers are trying their best to make sure students can succeed in their classes, students are also trying their best. Freshman EL student Cung Rem says she has been trying her hardest and doing well without much help from her teachers.

Senior Aung Piew attending Peddie’s class. Due to COVID-19, some students opted to go virtual, causing classes to be much smaller in size. (Emma Main)

“I don’t have a lot of issues right now,” Rem said. “I learn and do most of the things by myself, and my grades are okay.”

While students like Rem are cases where the student knows what they’re doing, there are also those who struggle with their grades. For the students who are struggling, Peddie gave them advice that could potentially help them throughout this hybrid schedule.

“My best advice for them is to ask lots of questions,” Peddie said. “Teachers aren’t going to be mad at them for asking questions, and they need to be advocating for themselves if they don’t understand what they are supposed to.”