Meet ESL Specialist, Dorit Sasson
Welcome to day one of Dorit Sasson’s 6-day NWFCC March Specialist Showcase tour and become engrossed in her fascinating background and ESL specialty.
Already in Israel, I taught EFL (English as a foreign language) to Israeli schoolchildren. When I moved to the States however, teaching ESL seemed like a natural fit because of my teaching background and experiences living abroad.
After completing the Israeli army in 1993, I decided the best way for me to establish my Anglo-Saxon identity would be to teach EFL. As a natural born teacher, I loved the unique “swirl” between teaching and cultures and so, I embarked on the English teaching journey.
After coming full circle to my US roots, I find that as I continue to straddle two countries, two cultures, two histories and two languages, there is another “calling” that was waiting for me – coaching and speaking to teachers and students.
I discovered that through my own social and cultural isolation, I was uniquely placed to help teachers become more aware and sensitized to the learning needs of their diverse populations such as English language learners. Thus the hat of the “teachers’ diversity coach” was born – it seemed to be a most natural and comfortable fit!
I work with colleges, high schools, at-risk and English language learning students, teacher trainers and administrators. I coach teachers to think through their lesson plans and organization as most teachers feel the system has failed them and want to keep going but not at the expense of their own sanity. Many teachers don’t get the close connection with a mentor and support for working with the challenges of classroom management and feel they have literally been thrown to the lions so to speak.
This is where my work comes in.
Recently, I had the pleasure of coaching an EFL teacher in Israel who needed support on how to engage her learners. And because I could deeply identify with her situation first as a new teacher and now as a coach, I was able to give her the support and help she deeply needed to feel more confident about her work and ability to engage the students in the most effective way possible.
I also coached this same teacher who needed lesson plan support in preparation for the inspector’s visit. She emailed me her lesson plan and I recorded my suggestions and recommendations in an audio file, which benefited her greatly knowing the challenges she was up against.
Here’s the testimonial of what she recently sent me which made my day: “Thanks so much for your help! The lesson went really well. The kids were great. She said such lovely things – that I’m the authority in the class, that I had no discipline problems, that there was an atmosphere of learning in the lesson. It was super. I want to thank you so much for your input and your help. It really helped knowing I had you to turn to.”
For more information about my work as a coach and my featured coaching program, you can go to:
Many new teachers think that hiring a teachers’ diversity coach will weaken their authority – on the contrary! It’s the most powerful thing a new teacher can do, which is why I wrote: Top Three Reasons Why New Teachers Need a Coach.
Another way I bring my gifts of helping new and veteran teachers (specifically those who work with English language learners) to the table is through my writing. I’ve written several eproducts including an ebooklet for teachers of ESL learners entitled: “Yes! You Can Teach English Language Learners Successfully!” and an ebook, “Tips and Tricks to Survive and Thrive in the Classroom” – an ebook of special reports on a variety of topics. I also do educational assignments for companies and organizations – these range from test item writing, to writing lesson plans and short articles.
I also have two books under discussion with educational publishers:
Collaboration between K-2 ESL and General Education Teachers: What Educators Need to Know.
Helping ESL Primary Students: Activities to Increase Word Recognition, Reading Comprehension and Oral Fluency in Just One Month!
To view some of my writing projects and what I’m currently working on, you can go to:
Follow Day 2 of Ms. Sasson’s tour tomorrow at www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com. Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix – at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.