Teaching and Learning: Important experiences and insights about working with ELLs

February 13, 2019

Mosaic graphic with banner overlay: The Village Video Series "Teaching and Learning: important experiences and insights about working with ELLs”

Teaching and Learning:

Important experiences and insights about working with ELLs

Hear from an ELL teacher candidate, an ELL teacher, and a Diversity & Equity Specialist about their experience working with the ELL community in Amherst, MA.
Photo of Stephani Lopez Rodriguez

Stephani Lopez Rodriguez

Stephani Lopez Rodriguez is currently studying at Mount Holyoke College pursuing her Masters of Arts in Teaching and is completing her practicum at Amherst Regional Middle School. Prior to moving to the Valley, she graduated from SUNY Albany and completed two years of public service work in education in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Photo of Alicia Lopez

Alicia Lopez, Lecturer

Alicia Lopez is a lecturer in the ESL Licensure program in the Professional and Graduate Education program at Mount Holyoke College. She also teaches ELL at Amherst Regional Middle School. Her 23 years in the classroom span 2 states and 3 subjects (French, Spanish, ESL). Lopez is the co-author with Sonia Nieto of the book Teaching: A Life’s Work, a mother-daughter dialogue (forthcoming, Teacher’s College Press). She has been reflecting on her teaching through her blog, Maestra Teacher since 2014.

Lopez is passionate about writing and teaching writing, teaching through a social justice lens, family engagement, and advocating for English Language Learners, as well as teaching them self-advocacy skills.

Lopez received her B.A. in French and Anthropology at Wellesley College and her Master’s in Bilingual, Multicultural and ESL Education at the University of Massachusetts. Alicia lives with her husband, 3 teenage kids, 2 dogs and 2 cats in Amherst.

Damany Gordon, Diversity and Equity Specialist at Amherst Schools

In his role as Diversity & Equity Specialist, Damany Gordon assists with employment of diverse candidates through the application and hiring process. He is the Amherst Schools representative for the Amherst Futures Program - a collaboration with Mount Holyoke’s MAT Program to grant licensure and a Masters degree to paraeducators of color. He is also the Amherst Schools liaison for the Diverse Teacher Workforce Coalition - an initiative to ensure that 20 black and Latino paraprofessionals receive their teaching licenses and begin working in Hampshire and Hampden County schools by 2020.