• Authorized WIDA CLIMBS Trainer

    As a firm believer in WIDA and its Can Do Philosophy, I am excited to be an authorized WIDA CLIMBS Trainer (Content and Language Integration as a Means of Bridging Success).

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  • Letters of Recommendation

    See what principals, directors and peers have said about my teaching and professionalism. Eileen Harder – Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education Coordinator Kim Reynolds – Professional Development Manager Elizabeth Hardage

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  • About Me

    I am a licensed coordinator and educator with twelve years of experience supporting linguistically and culturally diverse students from all over the globe. Most recently, I have served as the PreK-12 Culture

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  • Parent Outreach

    Research shows that non-native speakers take an average of 4-7 years to attain academic English proficiency (Cummins, 1981; Snow, 1987; Collier, 1995).  It’s a long Journey, but one that is

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  • Reading Buddies Wins Awards

    The Reading Buddies is a literacy-based volunteer program that I started with the help of Shawn Fondow.   It pairs college students with students at Banaadir Academy in a one

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  • Reading Buddies Program Receives Local Press

    I was featured recently featured in Minnesota Monthly Magazine because the of the literacy-based volunteer organization that I created.   Read article 1 Read article 2 I was also selected as one

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Free Homework Help for Your Children!

Homework Help

Online help with your homework, including math, science, and writing. You can also take practice tests or receive live test tutoring.

Library Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat.
Online 1-11pm 1-11pm 1-11pm 1-11pm 1-11pm 1-11pm 1-11pm

Homework Help at the Library

  • Free in-person tutoring for K-12 students. No advance sign-up needed.
  • Open September through May. Check with your local library for start dates and holidays.
Library Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Sun.
Augsburg Park 3-7 3-7 3-7
Brookdale 3:30- 7:30 3:30- 7:30 3:30- 7:30
Brooklyn Park 3:30-6:30 3:30-6:30 3:30-6:30 1:30- 3:30
East Lake 3:30- 7:30 3:30- 5:30 3:30- 7:30
Franklin 3:30- 7:30 3:30- 5:30 3:30- 7:30 3:30- 5:30
Hopkins 3:30- 7:30 3:30- 5:30 3:30- 7:30
Hosmer 3:30- 7:30 3:30- 7:30 1-5
Nokomis 3:30- 7 3:30- 6 3:30- 7
North Regional 3:30-7 3:30- 6 3:30-7
Northeast 3-6 3-6 3-6
Sumner 3:30- 7:30 3:30- 5:45 3:30- 7:30


I am a licensed ESL teacher with five years experience with students from diverse backgrounds.  I have taught academic English to students of all ages in Vietnam, technology use to suburban children and, most recently, academic English to new-to-country immigrants and refugees from East Africa for the last two and half years in an urban U.S. setting.

I believe all students can learn and thus am invested in each and every one of my students’ potential success.   It is my conviction that the purpose of education is two-fold: foundational and functional.  Educators should provide each student with the means to a strong and agile mind in the same way a trainer provides an athlete with a pathway to a powerful and agile body.  But we also need to provide the student with situational fluency and applicable skills the way that a mentor guides a mentee to thrive in a number of contexts.  At bottom, I love working with students of varied backgrounds and really enjoy watching students push themselves further than they thought they could go.

Assessment / Differentiation / Technology

As an ESL practitioner, I believe firmly in assessment, planning, differentiation and reflection.  I use iPads and spreadsheets to engage in weekly formative assessment and reflection.  Further, I am experienced in administering the full suite of assessments from World-class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) as well as state standardized assessments.  Using this data, I have helped facilitate differentiated instruction for students with a wide range of varying backgrounds, interests and abilities by implementing supports, such as sentence frames/stems, realia, and interactive graphics, and flexible grouping.   I also believe strongly in using technology and have utilized the following software and services  to help differentiate instruction:  Reading A-Z, Readlive,  Read Works, Imagine Learning, Newsela, and Moodle.  Similarly, I employ the use of iPads, PowerPoint, Google Slides/Docs, Smartboards, and Promethean Boards to create dynamic differentiated teacher and student-generated content.  Through these classroom practices, I have assisted East African students to raise WIDA scores by an average of one full point year over year.  Moreover, I can show measurable gains in student writing through student work samples.


I believe in formative assessment and reflection.  To see a sample of my formative assessment, click here.


I also developed and managed a school-wide online knowledge base for teachers to pool and share resources and gain access to often-used forms and materials and managed Banaadir Academy’s website and published all of its content  for four  years.

Cultural Responsiveness and Leadership

Cultural Responsiveness

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.


See samples of my culturally responsive teaching here.



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.

Read more about the Reading Buddy Program

Reading Buddy Program wins award!

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