ENL Hernandez Fellow Spotlight: Dan Walker
Name: Dan R. Walker Jr.
Title: English as a New Language Director/Spanish Teacher
School: Corpus Christi Catholic School in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Diocese: Diocese of Colorado Springs
How has the Hernandez Fellows experience shaped your vocation of teaching?
It has helped me think more deeply about my planning in the classroom, and how to include my emergent bilingual learners when thinking about my planning.
What drew you to the Hernandez Fellows?
I have wanted to join the Hernandez Fellows since I first entered education. I am glad to have this opportunity to learn with other passionate educators at Notre Dame.
Why is supporting emergent bilinguals important for our Catholic schools?
As demographics change, it is very important that Catholic schools adapt to address the needs of the students they serve. Colorado Springs has seen tremendous growth in our Latino population and our schools must be in a position to make sure our students feel welcomed and celebrated.
Would you recommend the Hernandez Fellows to other schools and dioceses?
I believe each school in the diocese should have at least one certified ENL teacher, in addition to an ENL director for the (arch)diocese to serve as an additional resource and oversee the program.
How do you plan to share the message and content of ENL?
Our staff will collaborate via Professional Learning Communities that meet weekly to share ideas and strategies. I also plan to become a World-class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Certified Screener.
What impact has the Hernandez Fellows had on you as a Catholic educator?
The Hernandez Fellows has made me a better teacher and placed me at the forefront of community outreach. It has also helped me spiritually because I needed a little "help from above" to get through the intense summer courses!
Interested in learning more about the Hernandez Fellows?