Teacher conference will not be discussing important issue

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COLUMBIA - MU faculty and teachers across the state will gather on the MU campus Tuesday to participate in the two day Celebration of Teaching conference. Attendees will participate in various workshops and share tips on how to tackle new challenges in the classroom like using iPads.

Hundreds of teachers are expected to participate in the 6th annual conference. The schedule includes 25 workshops but not 1 discusses improving the experience for English Language Learner (ELL) students.

Earlier this month, KOMU reported how only 1 Missouri school district met the third Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs). The standardize test calculates ELL students proficiency in the communication arts and mathematics.

Shawn Cockrum, Director of Migrant Education, said more teachers need to learn the necessary skills to transition these students to a comfortable environment where they're allowed the chance to succeed and have the opportunity at receiving a higher education.

"It's important for school districts to understand, especially those that may have very small numbers of language learners or no English Language Learners that they are going to be here and the numbers are going to increase so we have to prepare for that," Cockrum said. "We have to get more teachers involved in English as a second language when they are learning that and how to deal with those children. And we always have to remember that it's key to make sure that these children don't get less instructions in content. It's important to keep them up to date and up to speed on what is going on in the classroom."

Cockrum stated that Missouri has over 20,000 ELL students and that number increases about 10 percent every year.