Rita Guzman | Online Learning for Teachers pursuing Continuing Education and Professional Development | The Connecting Link


Rita Guzman

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My name is Rita Guzman Ed.D. I am originally from Joliet where I continue to reside. I graduated from the University of St. Francis in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in Education. I continued my education at National-Louis University and received an endorsement in Bilingual and English as a Second Language. I then returned to USF to pursue a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and a second master’s degree specializing in Differentiated Instruction with a minor in Special Education. I returned to pursue a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership.

I've been working in Valley View School District 365U for the past fifteen years. I taught first grade bilingual and K-5 ESL. I can honestly say that I love my current position as assistant principal. However, I must admit that at times I do miss having my own classroom. I enjoyed being an ESL teacher because it allowed me to work with students who spoke 37 different languages and it enabled me to learn more about individual cultures and customs.

When I am not working I most enjoy simply spending time with my family. My wonderful family includes my husband of 22 years, Alex, and our two beautiful daughters. Our sixteen year old, Brittney, is currently in 12th grade and our active eleven year old, Lindsey, is in seventh grade. I enjoy listening to my daughters tell me about their day and going to the movies.

This course is designed to help K-12 educators provide equitable access to a high-quality educational experience for English learners (ELs), students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), and students with 504 plans. Educators will discover how to design meaningful and rigorous lessons, implement academic and behavioral accommodations and modifications, and select appropriate assessments that gauge student learning and steer instructional practices. Educators will also focus on facilitating an environment in which diversity is valued and the social and emotional needs of students are nurtured - in both the traditional (physical) and virtual classroom settings. Finally, forming effective partnerships between schools, families, and community organizations in order to maximize the potential of ELs and students with special needs will be highlighted.
This course provides a survey into the major theories of language acquisition and their applications to the instruction and assessment of English language learners. K–12 educators will learn strategies to support English language learners in regular education classrooms. Special emphasis will be given to differentiation of lesson plans and activities to promote vocabulary development and reading skills for the English language learner.