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Reflecting upon my personal experiences teaching mathematics to English Language Learners (ELL) in a public high school in Lincoln, Nebraska, this essay largely focuses on the time I spent as the only Accelerated Math teacher in my school building. From 2012 – 2017, I taught three different subjects at this high school: Advanced Algebra, Algebra, and Accelerated Math. This essay highlights why I chose to become a math and ELL teacher, as well as the challenges, issues, struggles, and successes I experienced during my time teaching. I focus on the challenges I faced teaching students who did not share my native language and discuss how I learned to assess their mathematical histories because of placement test inaccuracies. Recounting how I structured my class to prepare my students from drastically different backgrounds for a mainstream Algebra classroom, I utilize my own personal experiences and stories of students, outlining what they taught me, how I grew as a teacher due to their time in my classroom, and the memories I hold dear since leaving the field.
Algebra Commons, Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education Commons, Curriculum and Instruction Commons, Educational Methods Commons, First and Second Language Acquisition Commons, Language and Literacy Education Commons, Other Mathematics Commons, Science and Mathematics Education Commons, Secondary Education Commons