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Education symposium examines how to support ESL teachers

The University of Houston-Victoria is bringing a Texas A&M education professor to Katy to talk about why English as a Second Language teachers are leaving the teaching profession.

The UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development’s spring symposium, “Beginning and Leaving Teaching: Texas Teachers’ Experiences,” will begin at 2:30 p.m. March 8 in the UHV Katy Multi-Purpose Room, 2002 W. Grand Parkway N., Building 2. The presenter will be Cheryl Craig, a professor and the Houston Endowment Endowed Chair in Urban Education in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University. The event is free and open to the public.

Fred Litton

“In the fall, the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development added a graduate concentration in English as a Second Language/Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and we want to share the importance of that program with our students and the Katy community,” said Fred Litton, dean of the school. “There is a growing need for ESL/TESOL teachers, and UHV is committed to helping the communities we serve have access to an affordable program that will equip their teachers.”

During her presentation, Craig will focus on the stories of two teachers who unexpectedly resigned from their careers. One was a novice who taught literacy classes with many ESL learners, and the other was an experienced teacher who taught ESL students for most of her career. Craig’s lecture will focus on why these two teachers chose to leave and how educators and schools can help prevent future resignations.

Liping Wei

“While the English language learner student body continues to increase dramatically, the number of well-trained teachers who can provide effective instruction to these students falls short,” said Liping Wei, a UHV assistant professor of curriculum and instruction. “The high teacher attrition rate makes this issue more serious. Attracting and retaining quality teachers has become a local, national and international challenge.”

There is a lot of focus on the number of teachers joining and leaving the workforce, Wei said. However, not as much attention is given to the reasons why teachers, many of them highly committed long-term professionals, choose to leave. Through the examples of these two teachers, Craig will explain how schools and educators can use this information and move forward.

“Dr. Craig will make suggestions about how teacher education programs and educators in the field can better support teachers along the career continuum,” Wei said.

For more information about the symposium, contact Wei at 281-396-3700 or weil@uhv.edu

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as a teaching center in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All Initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student popular, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.