New Book! Identity Safe Spaces at Home and School

I am excited to share that Identity Safe Spaces at Home and School: Partnering to Overcome Inequity, co-written with Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas, has been released nation-wide. Several people have asked how to spread the word about the book. Here are some activities to do if you would like. Please share …

Interview on Bam Radio’s Principal Street: Transforming Schools for Multilingual Learners

How can we enhance how we teach multilingual learners using a strengths-based approach? It was an honor to listen to Grace Delgado from Aldine ISD discuss the steps that her district took and is taking to transform its practices based on Transforming Schools for Multilingual Learners. Listen to the interview …

Slow Down Seabiscuit

Gather a group of educators together and we find ourselves recounting the crazy life experiences that we routinely have going at full speed – regardless of what our role is. All my adventures came to a screeching halt in September when I had a total hip replacement (THR).  After years …

7 Professional Growth Resources for Working with Students Living with Adversity

School superintendents, principals, teachers, specialists, support staff, and others are becoming much more aware of the epic number of students experiencing adversity in the form of trauma, violence, and chronic stress.  However, many of us are not familiar with the steps that we should take to support our instructional programming. …

Transforming Policies, Practices, and Structures for Multilingual Learners’ Success

With the school year well underway, many of us want to modify the language education programming we are providing multilingual learners [MLs]. One reason we want to do this is to ensure that we are following state and federal guidelines to identify MLs and determine or strengthen the programming that’s …

BUILDING INTERPRETER AND TRANSLATOR NETWORKS

Debbie Zacarian and Jennifer Love lay out the basis for transforming schools to welcome and include multilingual learners and their parents/guardians (Zacarian and Love, October 2023). During the past decade, interpreter and translator services have soared across public and public charter schools in the United States.  A primary reason for …

Three Strategies to Strengthen Partnerships with Families of Multilingual Learners

By Debbie Zacarian We all know the importance of family engagement. Whether we work with two parents, a single parent, foster parent, grandparent, stepparent, custodial parent, extrafamilial member, and others, we understand that every family constellation is essential to children’s development. While we might believe strongly in family engagement, we …

Drawing from Strengths

When Alina was 11 years old, she moved to the United States from Irpin, Ukraine with her mother and younger brother to live with distant relatives. The Russian invasion resulted in their witnessing the destruction of their city and the death of family members. As Alina enrolls in school, we learn …

Teaching to Strengths: 5 Practices for Supporting Students Living with Adversity

Interested in learning more about practices for supporting students living with adversity? Listen in as Dr. Jobi Lawrence and Dr. Debbie Zacarian discuss the topic of teaching to empower and share a call to action to foster student agency, self-confidence, and collaboration. This episode of ASSETS is part of a …

Please Join! Webinar: Transforming Schools for Multilingual Learners

Please join this free webinar hosted by the National Association of English Learner Program Administrators and sponsored by TransAct on Thursday, Jan 19, 2023, 4:00 — 5:30 PM EST. Register here! Are you seeking support in building, strengthening, and sustaining effective language assistance programming for multilingual learners? This webinar will …

Leaders Coaching Leaders Podcast on Transforming Schools for Multilingual Learners

It was an honor to be interviewed by Peter Dewitt, host of the Leaders Coaching Leaders podcast about the second edition of Transforming Schools for Multilingual Learners: A comprehensive guide for educators. During the podcast, Peter asks about the reasons for writing a new edition and using a strengths-based approach. …

2nd Edition Transforming Schools for Multilingual Learners: A Comprehensive Guide for Educators

Available for Pre-Purchase! Essential principles, practices, and structures for multilingual learners A lot has changed in the ten years since this book was first published. This celebrated triumph provided state, district, school, and teacher leaders with a comprehensive guide to support multilingual learners to reach their full potential. The key messages that …

Two New ‘Zip Guides’ on Social-Emotional Learning and Essentials for Engaging Families

TESOL Press just released two new publications. Social-Emotional Learning for English Learners [SEL] (Zacarian, 2022) and the Essentials for Engaging Families of English Learners (Zacarian, 2022). These two zip guides are the first of their kind for TESOL Press. Each includes six 8.5×11 laminated folded panels that distill key principles …

What are the Legal Requirements Related to Educating English Learners?

Learn about the questions schools are asking about how to implement the laws and regulations regarding English learners during Covid19. This first of two articles written for ColorIn Colorado provides answers to the most common questions administrators are asking about this dynamically changing population during the elongated Covid-19 and other …

Webinar: Beyond Crises: With Secondary Multilingual Learners

Crises can happen with no warning or with certainty. The epic numbers of multilingual learners experiencing these phenomena is as diverse as are the types of language programs, instructional practices, and schoolwide policies they are provided. Our ever-changing educational landscape often evokes uncertainty as to how to work with these students …

Interview on Responsive Schooling for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

This interview is based on the book Responsive Schooling for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students co-written with scholar Ivannia Soto. We are grateful that it has achieved best-selling status. It is used in university & professional growth settings about culturally responsive practices. Listen to the interview at https://tinyurl.com/trmc74

Inaugural NABE Book Chat, Beyond Crises

It was an honor to be interviewed by the National Association of Bilingual Educators (NABE) for their inaugural Author Chat on our best-selling book- Beyond Crises: Overcoming Linguist and Cultural Inequities in Communities, Schools and Classrooms. Thank you, Sandra Medrano-Arroyo, Margarita Pinkos, and Nilda Aguirre for this wonderful opportunity to …

Going Beyond Crises

Tan Huynh is a highly regarded teacher of multilingual learners. His popular podcast, Teaching MLs provides the opportunity to listen to the thoughts, ideas, and experiences of the most current leaders in the field. I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Tan about Beyond Crises: Overcoming Linguistic and Cultural …

Webinar Recording Available: Responsive Schooling for Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Students

The book Responsive Schools for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners supports educators and educational leaders to design, implement, and examine approaches to support culturally and linguistically diverse learners to succeed in school and their lives. It includes many evidenced-based examples from the field and details practical steps for implementing responsive …

COVID-19 Required Delivering Education Anew-What’s Next Is Up to Us

With so much attention on ‘learning loss’ and failures to reach students, we might miss the many positives that we’ve experienced. What we have learned, how we have coped, and how we have attended to our students and ourselves is well worth analyzing and examining. This once-in-a-century crisis should inspire …

Virtual Conference in Spanish on Teaching To Strengths: Supporting Students living with trauma, violence, and chronic stress by co-writer and colleague, Dr. Lourdes Alvarez-Ortiz.

Colleague and co-writer, Dr. Lourdes Alvarez-Ortiz will be presenting an interactive virtual conference in Spanish on April 24, 2021 on our book Teaching to Strengths: supporting students living with trauma, violence and chronic stress. It focuses on the epic number of children and families living with adversity and the importance …

Leaders Coaching Leaders Podcast

Thrilled to be interviewed by Peter Dewitt about our book, Beyond Crises: Overcoming Linguistic and Cultural Inequities in Communities, Schools and Classrooms. Listen to this podcast with moderator Peter Dewitt and co-authors, Margarita Calderón, Margo Gottlieb, and me, by going to one of the following links to the show: ·        Spotify  …

Corwin Press Webinar: Beyond Crises: Overcoming Linguistic and Cultural Inequities in Communities, Schools, and Classrooms

Delighted to participate in virtual book launch on Beyond Crises: Overcoming Linguistic and Cultural Inequities in Communities, Schools and Classrooms with Corwin Press editor, Dan Alpert, marketing manager, Sharon Pendergast, and co-writers Margarita Calderón and Margo Gottlieb. Listen to the full webinar

Beyond Crises: Overcoming Linguistic and Cultural Inequities. Up to the Challenge?

Authors: Debbie Zacarian, Margarita Calderón, and Margo Gottlieb. This piece appeared in Corwin Connect. Crises often amplify inequities that are hidden from view-especially for historically marginalized students from linguistically and culturally diverse populations.  Rather than focus on what we perceive is wrong or broken, we can achieve much greater success …

Debbie Zacarian Interviewed by Houston ISDs Sharpstown High School Stories Project

“Debbie Zacarian sat down with us to talk about how we can better serve English Learners in our latest episode of #ThinkPareShare. Guess what? Deficiency plans are a thing of the past! Teaching to strengths and being culturally and linguistically responsive are paths to a better future. How do we change …

Free Webinar: Responsive Schooling for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

Recording available for viewing this webinar, now. It was a pleasure to provide this interactive edWebinar moderated by Carol Chambers Collins of Norton Education. It looks at the big picture in what we teach so that it matches who we teach and is inclusive, responsive, and sustaining for our dynamically diverse student populations. It …

Teachers’ College Press Review of Responsive Schooling for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

Honored to receive this excellent review of our book, Responsive Schooling for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students from Teachers’ College Press cowritten with Ivannia Soto. Read it here.

Managing the Residual Trauma of the Abrupt Transition to Remote Learning

Chaunte Garrett with Debbie Zacarian and Michael Silverstone. We’ve all been part of an unplanned global experiment in remote learning during COVID.  For many, the experience was traumatizing and there were millions of school-aged children living with adversity before COVID. Listen to this ASCD BAM radio interview as we discuss …

As Schools Reopen, A New Inclusive Paradigm is Needed

By Debbie Zacarian and Becki Cohn-Vargas As one school year ends and we plan for the next, we see the glaring inequities that the pandemic has amplified, and we recognize that steps must be taken to address them.  Beyond adopting new guidelines for hygiene and reducing our schools’ exposure to …

A SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY: PARTNERING WITH FAMILIES DURING THE PANDEMIC

By Becki Cohn-Vargas and Debbie Zacarian Strengthening Community Partnerships As educators, we should celebrate the Herculean shift that we and our students have made from in-person to distance engagement to in-person and repeating this cycle as the crises continues. We know that these transitions and our future success are dependent on …

Teaching to Empower During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Debbie Zacarian and Michael Silverstone In March of this year, as it became clear that the nation’s school buildings would close for the foreseeable future in light of a global pandemic crisis and that distance learning was the only way for education to continue, student and teacher roles were upended …

5 Essential Trauma-Informed Priorities for Remote Learning

By Debbie Zacarian, Lourdes Alvarez-Ortiz, and Judie Haynes As the COVID-19 pandemic upended communities worldwide, millions of educators moved at warp speed from gathering face-to-face to sheltering at home. In a matter of days, human connection required some type of device or a six-foot distance. Against this backdrop, children continue …

Planning for Online Connection and Collaboration with Primary-Grades Children

Michael Silverstone teaches at Wellan Montessori School, near Boston. With Dr. Debbie Zacarian, he co-wrote Teaching to Empower: Taking Action to Foster Student Agency, Self-Confidence, and Collaboration (ASCD). The following, by Michael, originally appeared on 3/20/2020 in Classroom Q&A with Larry Ferlazzo

Among the bigger surprises at the start of the COVID-19 era is how well-prepared we are to work off-site with each other and with administrators. In recent years, at my school, we have collectively created online calendars, collaborated on documents, and become increasingly more reliant on using online formats. Videoconferencing small-group planning meetings is the only new wrinkle. But, after a few of these, once the novelty falls away, there have been more times that we’re able to forget that we’re not in the same room. That’s the good news.

Read more“Planning for Online Connection and Collaboration with Primary-Grades Children”

SUDDENLY TEACHING AND LEARNING FROM HOME DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

This was a week of online firsts- jumping into the deep end of our ‘online’ selves in ways familiar and new.  It leads us to a discussion about the virtues of students having a voice and choice in their online learning. experiences. Debbie: I had my first tele-health conference. It was …

From Deficits to Assets

This Q&A with editor Dan Alpert and co-authors Debbie Zacarian and Diane Staehr Fenner first appeared in languagemagazine.com on January 22, 2020. That piece is titled From Deficit-Based to Assets-Based: Breaking Down the Wall One Essential Shift at a Time and is based on the first chapter of the best selling …

Teaching and Supporting Students Living with Adversity

This new publication is being released in January 2020! “Teaching and Supporting Students Living with Adversity,” is a Quick Reference Guide. It includes six pages of key easy-to-implement K-12 instructional strategies for students living with trauma, violence and chronic stress. Filled with examples, it is now available for pre-order! TinyURL.com/yx52hn33

Video: 3 Trauma-Informed Priorities

by Debbie Zacarian

This short video describes the rationale for using a strengths-based approach to support students living with adversity and includes three classroom-based strategies. The video originally appeared as part of a project for ASCD on “Trauma-Informed Practices”.

Top Seller, Teaching to Strengths: supporting students living with trauma, violence and chronic stress

Excited our book is a top seller. Thank you, ASCD for supporting educators’ working with Ss living with adversity. If you are using book for PD, a course, or your own professional development, don’t hesitate to reach out. https://lnkd.in/dtbXh4X

How can classroom walls be used most effectively?

Classroom walls can play a vital role in helping students maximize their productivity, motivation, and focus. As you design the space you will want to keep these intentions prominent in your mind: Support a Sense of Identity, Belonging, and Ownership: Students should be involved in making decisions about what is displayed …

Five Elements of a Positive Classroom Environment for Students Living with Adversity

How many of us have been formally trained to teach students living with adverse childhood experiences? When we ask this question throughout the U.S., few educators raise their hand. However, according to the National Survey of Children’s Health, almost half of all U.S. children have experienced one or more types of serious …

“What education buzzwords are the most overused?”

Larry Ferlazzo, a wonderful teacher and writer, writes a great blog for Ed Week where he asks questions from various people from the field. Here’s my response to his question: “What education buzzwords are the most overused?” One of the most common buzzwords used in education is ‘best practices’. Take …

Supporting Students After a Violent Event

Tragically, many of our nation’s children have been exposed to high profile acts of violence including the horrific event that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. Many of us are grappling with how to best support students, their families, as well as others. The Trauma and Learning …

Using Our Voices to Uplift Our Communities

In the documentary series, Daughters of Destiny, about the Shanti Bhavan School, there’s a scene of a sex education class where boys are taught to take responsibility to protect and value girls and women. The series, about a boarding school that provides free PreK-12 education for India’s most impoverished children, …

Using a Strengths-Based Approach: Supporting Multilingual Learners Living with Trauma, Violence and Chronic Stress

This piece was commissioned and printed by Colorin Colorado with support from the AFT and NEA and appeared Here:  https://www.colorincolorado.org/article/using-strengths-based-approach-els-supporting-students-living-trauma-violence-and-chronic by Dr. Debbie Zacarian, Dr. Lourdes Alvarez-Ortiz, & Judie Haynes Using a strengths-based approach allows educators to draw upon students’ internal strengths and capacities, and it can be a particularly …

Teaching to Strengths: Supporting Students living with trauma, violence & chronic stress included in Hurricane Relief Effort

Honored that ASCDs Hurricane Relief Initiative includes our book. Here is information about it from ASCD.  “Purchase an ASCD book from our online store from now until October 31 and use promo code “RELIEF,” and ASCD will donate one trauma-related resource, such as Teaching to Strengths: Supporting Students Living with Trauma, …

Building Partnerships Through Classroom-Based Events, Debbie Zacarian & Michael Silverstone

Building Partnerships Through Classroom-Based Events, Debbie Zacarian & Michael Silverstone In the lead article of the Sept. issue of Ed Leadership, here’s how educators can design events that make families feel welcome, share their children’s learning, and integrate the rich assets they bring. As educators, we all want to build …

Teaching to Strengths: supporting students living with trauma, violence & chronic stress

TEACHING TO STRENGTHS:  SUPPORTING STUDENTS LIVING WITH TRAUMA, VIOLENCE, AND CHRONIC STRESS.  (co-written with Lourdes Alvarez-Ortiz and Judie Haynes) Half the students in U.S. schools are experiencing or have experienced trauma, violence, or chronic stress. Much has been written about these students from a therapeutic perspective, especially regarding how to provide …

Data-Driven Decisions on Effective Performance Measures of English Learners

Delighted to have contributed a chapter and be included among esteemed colleagues in Shelley Wepner and Dee Gomez co-edited and much needed book. Challenges Facing Suburban Schools Promising Responses to Changing Student Populations.  Many of us might not realize the rapid demographic changes that are occurring in our nation’s suburbs and …

Identifying and teaching English learners with disabilities

The nation’s #1 website serving educators and families of English Learners, Colorín Colorado, with generous funding from the National Education Association, produced a new section about identifying, assessing, and teaching English learners who may have learning disabilities. Colorín Colorado’s new website section includes four comprehensive sections including:  (1) special education and ELs: challenges …

Interactions Matter:  impact learning through student, classroom, family and community partnerships

by Debbie Zacarian and Michael Silverstone Whether you are an administrator, teacher or a parent–a fan of standardized testing-indexed sanctions, or an advocate for student-directed learning experiences, there is one point of agreement that we all share. We want all students to feel and be successful.  For well over a …

What is a Growth Mindset and How Can It Be Applied in the Classroom?

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, founder of ‘growth mindset,’ defines the concept as believing that every student can succeed and teaching them to believe in their abilities to: (1) embrace the challenges and complexities of learning; (2) learn the positives of being persistent (3) value effort as a positive; and (4) …

Launching the Just-Right Tools for English Learners

Many are using social networking to get word out that the US Departments of Education and Justice released guidance and tools about the legal obligations of teaching English learners. Last month, the US Department of Education released an English Learner Toolkit to help state and local education agencies help English Learners (ELs) by fulfilling these obligations. The …

Rethinking the Possibilities of Strength-Based Teacher Evaluation Systems

With all of the time, effort and money being poured into teacher evaluation systems, the outcomes of students from underrepresented populations have not changed enough to see that what we are doing is working. Only 61 percent of English learners, the fastest growing group in the U.S., are graduating and …

Why Partnerships Can Energize Our Classrooms by Kevin Hodgson

A Middleweb Blog by Kevin Hodgson Like many educators, I find the first days of school are a time to get to know my students through community-building activities. I am always curious about family connections, yet never feel as if I do nearly enough to forge partnerships with families, beyond the …

We Can Only Make Education Work When We Are In It Together

by Debbie Zacarian & Michael Silverstone How do two separate people from different places and with different roles actually go about writing one sentence let alone a book? Our answer takes some explaining as it reflects what we believe is needed in education, now. Partnerships are key  The process of …

English Learners Living with Trauma, Violence, and Chronic Stress

The film, Spare Parts, was released last month. It’s based on the true story (and book) about 4 undocumented Latino high school students who formed a robotics team that beat MIT engineering students in a contest. Their personal stories as well as the more recent questions, responses and comments heard at President’s Obama’s …

HARNESSING THE POTENTIAL AND POSSIBILITIES OF ENGLISH LEARNERS

Many are using social networking to get word out that the US Departments of Education and Justice recently released guidance and tools about teaching English learners.  The two agencies remind us all that ELs should “have equal access to a high quality education and the opportunity to achieve their full …

IS MORE TESTING THE REMEDY FOR WHAT’S NOT WORKING?

US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently reemphasized the importance of the annual testing requirement. One of the key reasons he’s advocating for them is that they provide information about what’s working and what’s not. A coalition of civil rights groups also support annual testing for the same reason– as a means to “target …

UNDERSTANDING THE OPPORTUNITY GAP AS AN ACADEMIC LANGUAGE GAP

Many educational scholars and practitioners, including me, have written extensively about teaching students from underserved populations.  The focus of this work has included students living in poverty, from diverse cultural and racial experiences, and who are English learners. These are made more relevant by an ever-increasing population of students and families …

THE WAR ON POVERTY: FIFTY YEARS AND COUNTING

A half a century ago, President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty and launched several initiatives intended to battle the ravages of a chronic and persistent problem. Among these was the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). It required that any institution receiving federal funding could not deny anyone …