Mario Figueroa's Teaching Website


My name is Mario Figueroa

I am an ELD and Multi-Cultural Literature Teacher. I teach mainly 10th graders but I have a little of everything in my ELD classes.

My induction experience has been very insightful and essential to my survival of my first year in teaching. Working closely with my coach has allowed me to share any concerns I had and learn about curriculum planning, classroom management, and assessment strategies. Furthermore, the cycles and resources that I reviewd complemented my teaching journey perfectly. This has been a year of meaningful learning and growth!

Areas of growth

The biggest area of growth for me would be 3.3: Oganizing Curriculum for Student Understanding. One of the biggest challenges for me this year was creating a stimulating and engaging curriculum for 4 different classes. Some of these classes had some basic guidelines as a pacing guide, but I had nothing that was set in stone. I was initially nervous about my pacing, my assignments, and teaching style because I did not have much to base my instruction on other than what I researched individually. Fortunately, through constant practice and reflection, I was able to find my own style of curriculum planning that worked for my students.

Curriculum/Lesson Planning is also my chosen area for improvement. I want learn how to organize my classroom time with strong instruction, engaging discussion, and meaningful classwork.

What I am most proud about is the way I was able to establish meaningful relationships with my students this year. 95% of my students are ELs and were initially withdrawn and reluctant to ask for help or make an attempt to communicate. Throughout the year, more and more students have become comfortable asking me for help and sharing their stories of how they use what I teach them and use it in other classes.


Here is an example of my style of teaching:

“I have been impressed by the rigor of the instruction he presents and the use of scaffolding strategies to ensure all students are successful.”
- Alma Gonzalez (Desert Mirage Principal)

Effective Strategies

My EL classes emphasized on two different things:

  1. Academic vocabulary words
  2. Academic sentence frames

In order to help students better understand and encourage the use of vocabulary words, I would assign them to create "everyday dialogues" with their partners using the words. The way this assignment worked is by students creating a random conversation that they may actually have with their friends, and either add or replace "everyday words" with vocabulary words. This strategy helped students identify academic vocabulary words as something meaningful in their everyday lives.


Academic sentence frames were a great aide for my ELs because it provided them with structure in their writing and speaking. Furthermore, the sentence frames I used were transferrable to any class that my students had so it made it more meaningful and easier to remember.

In my opinion, ______________ Furthermore, __________
My rationale is _______________ For example, ______________
One advantage is ____________ An alternative to ____________
One inconvenience is ____________ However, ________________

Student Success and Achievement

One of the classes that I teach is ELD 1 (this class is an English course for absolute beginners to the language). In this class, students learn basic English vocabulary, conversations, and phrases both through speaking and writing. I have a student in this class that had recently arrived from Mexico when the year had first began. His English was very limited but he showed great enthusiasm towards learning the language. As the months passed, this student began walking into my class greeting me in English and making "small talk" with me the best he could. He was excited about learning common phrases in English (Oh my God, are you kidding me?, what are you thinking about?) and would use them with his friends in class as soon as he could. As the year is now coming to a close, this student has made big improvements in English. He can confidently ask a variety of questions (do you, can you, would you, are you) and can hold a spontaneous conversation for about a minute. I am very proud of this student's accomplishments this year and I am sure he will continue to succeed the following year. 



Future Goals and Next Steps

My next step is to take the time to research more effective strategies to use my following year. I've learned so much about teaching ELD this year, but now I want to take what I've learned and pick up on more ELA strategies (socratic seminars, dialectical journals, breaking down essay structures, analyzing/synthesizing texts) to complement my future endeavors. 

Hope you enjoy my page!