Cultural Responsiveness and Leadership
As an ESL teacher, I value diversity as not only important but necessary to foster a well-rounded and productive educational environment. In this regard, I have accomplished many things that have helped Banaadir Academy become a more culturally responsive school. In order to address low first-language literacy and limited background knowledge about the U.S. education system, I collaborated with students to produce a series of bilingual training videos for SLIFE and their parents, detailing school procedures and norms. An example video can be found at http://www.fossenbell.org/videos/. In addition, I facilitated the creation and implementation of our school’s interpreting team. Both of these initiatives led to a marked increase in parent-teacher communication. In a similar vein, I implemented and managed the Somali Word of the Week initiative to help Western staff learn more about Somali language and customs.
I have a documented history of taking initiative and holding leadership positions at every organization for which I have worked. Most recently, I served as a Professional Learning Community (PLC) Lead for grades 5 and 6 and facilitated data-driven flexible grouping of students which has led to increased test scores and overall student success. Further, I created, implemented and managed the award-winning Reading Buddy volunteer program, which has provided students over three thousand hours of extra small group and one-on-one support. Lastly, I facilitated a school-wide transition to adopt the WIDA W-APT and MODEL for language assessment and placement.