Initial Data Analysis Thoughts

After going through my data for the first time, here are my initial thoughts:

  • Most respondents commented that they collaborate with mainstream teachers on daily or weekly basis
  • Only two responded that they almost or never collaborate with mainstream teachers
  • Most common form of collaboration reported was that mainstream teachers share their lesson plans with the ESL teachers
  • Other forms of collaboration reported include: conducting professional development, attending PLC’s, and modifying assessments
  • When professional development was reported, most said this was done once a year
  • Obstacles that hinder collaboration have been coded by: SPT (lack of shared planning time), TA (teacher attitude), CI (caseload issues-too many students/servicing multiple buildings), T (time), TK (teacher knowledge of ESL methods)
  • Most respondents commented that they are currently using a combination of pull-out and push-in methods to service ESL students
  • ESL teachers reported a variety of things that are successful about their current ESL programs. Several did cite that the ESL teachers’ knowledge of their students and families as a strength.
  • Most said that they have support from the administration in their school. While they reported that they had support, they also cited issues with administration that hinder collaboration. Lack of understanding of ESL methods and how to support collaboration were cited by a few teachers.
  • Mixed responses were given for ESL teachers having equal status in their buildings. Some reported that they did feel like they had equal status while others said they did not. Teachers who worked in multiple buildings, felt equality in some of the buildings they worked in, but did not feel that way in others. When the ESL teachers reported not having equal status, they used words such as: “outsider”, “treated like instructional assistant”, “not given equal resources”, “not considered a real teacher.” One ESL teacher reported feeling like they have a higher status than mainstream teachers in their building.
  • Changes that teachers would make to improve collaboration centered around four themes: SPT (more shared planning time), PD (more professional development for mainstream teachers), CT (collaboration training), CI (less students on caseload/ assigned to fewer buildings).
  • Need to look at individual responses to see what factors contributed to negative/positive responses in outliers

Data Analysis Overload

This week I have started to wade through the data I collected, looking for themes. I ended up having 34 respondents from 9 different districts, and randomly chose 30 out of the group to analyze their data. I have been using a combination of line-by-line coding and color coding techniques to help me organize the data. This method has allowed me to find the themes that are present in the data. The analysis process is long and sometimes tedious, but very also rewarding when I start to see similar responses from many teachers. I need to go back through after this initial analysis and dive deeper into individual responses to really find out what the data is showing about collaboration between ESL teachers and mainstream teacher in Kentucky schools.

Finding Research Participants

Whew…I have been very busy the last few days trying to find participants for my study and emailing out my survey link. Originally, I reached out to  KYTESOL to ask if they would send out the link to my survey to their members. I didn’t hear back from them and did not see an increase of respondents to my survey, so I decided to be more proactive about my search. I went through all the district/school websites’ staff directories to find ESL teachers in districts across Kentucky. Through my search I was able to reach out to around 150 ESL teachers from 24 different districts. As of tonight, I have had 21 respondents from 6 districts. Hopefully that number will continue to increase over the next few days. It has been exciting to see some of the data come in, and I can wait to organize and analyze the results.

Research Presentation Practice

This weekend I worked on the first few slides for my research presentation and practiced explaining these slides to colleagues. Here is a link to the practice video:

My professor and fellow students critiqued my video and offered valuable feedback for some changes I can make. Their feedback was very helpful and I have made some changes to the slides per their suggestions.

Research Journal Entry #1

This week I created the online survey that I am going to use to help gather data for my research project. This was my first time using an online survey creator, and found it very user-friendly. I used SurveyMonkey and it was extremely easy to use. They also had ready-made survey specifically for educators to use. There were surveys that you could send out to your class and/or parents. I had never thought of using surveys in this way, but could see how it could be beneficial in the future. I love finding out new ways to use technology for my classroom.

I will hopefully be sending out my survey this week and will be anxiously awaiting responses. It is very exciting to be on this next step in the research process and I can’t wait to see what will come out of this project.