Lowering the Affective Filter in Classrooms

Carly SpinaBlog, Connect Better, Engage Better

TL;DR: The affective filter refers to an invisible filter we have—when high, no input can pass through and we can’t retain new information. When it’s low, input can freely pass and new learning can occur. Consider learning activities and tasks that lower the affective filter so that new learning can pass through. I hate going to the post office. I … Read More

Why the Label LTEL Can Be Problematic

Carly SpinaBlog, Connect Better, Lead Better

TL;DR: Assigning labels (such as Long Term English Learner) to students can often stigmatize, otherize, or further marginalize them. We don’t need to fix or change our students. We need to change our systems and our mindsets.  There has been a phrase used in the multilingual education space called LTEL, or Long Term English Learner. It has come up more … Read More

Hispanic Heritage Month

Carly SpinaBlog, Connect Better, Lead Better, Reflect Better, Teach Further

TL;DR: Hispanic Heritage Month can be a time where we reflect on how we highlight certain communities in our learning spaces. Ask students which terms they prefer and why. Involve families as you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Analyze classroom materials to ensure they don’t project a problematic narrative or bias. Enlist the support of your teammates and leadership teams to help … Read More

Teacher Mindsets that Matter for Multilingual Learners

Carly SpinaBlog, Connect Better, Differentiate Better, Engage Better, Manage Better, Reflect Better, Self Care Better

TL;DR: The beginning of the school year gives us an opportunity for a fresh start. Instead of a negative mindset, identify student’s passions and interests, and how we utilize those to empower students.  We can have some fresh mindsets about unmotivated students, lack of support at home, and students without a dominant language. Mindsets to embrace are linguistic inclusivity, want … Read More