Curriculum and Instruction
Department of English Learners: EL Instructional Specialist
From the fields of communication and public relations to education and instruction, I am thankful to combine my career experience into the position of Instructional Specialist for all middle and high school English Learners. My name is Brittany Hawkins, and I am thrilled you have found your way to our EL team page. We aspire to equip you with helpful information you will find beneficial both in and out of the DeSoto County Schools classroom.
Before becoming a specialist, I served as a high school English literature and public speaking teacher. I earned my bachelors in Communication from Mississippi State University and obtained my masters degree from Belhaven University. I have endorsements for grades 7-12 in English, Speech Communication, Marketing, and English as a Second Language.
After graduating from MSU, I worked as a Public Relations Coordinator for the largest advertising/public relations agency in Florida. I also served as the Public Relations Specialist for Baptist Memorial Health Care at the corporate office in Memphis before coming to the field of education. Through effective communication, encouragement, and steadfast research on best instructional strategies for teachers, I am happy to work with educators across the district to implement effective ways to help English Learners. What works for EL students is great for all students. As we share this immense responsibility, we hope to also cheer each other on along the way.
I look forward to helping you with anything you need regarding secondary EL instruction.
Feel free to contact me anytime,
About the Team
As you explore our English Learners team website, you will notice lighthouse themes throughout. Our department aspires to be a lighthouse in schools, serving as a beacon of hope and help to students as well as other teachers. When we think of a lighthouse, we think of a structure that is immovable, consistent, strong, bright, and on a firm foundation. We hope you find our site brings you helpful tips in a way that shines brightly and provides a source of hope to the challenges you face in the classroom.
We are committed to working together to find the best ways to serve all students and help make their educational experience a positive one. Our department's motto is, "Know every child; grow every child." Through building relationships, taking a special interest in getting to know students, expounding on their prior knowledge, and executing effective EL instructional strategies, we know all children will have the opportunity to excel. #bethelighthouse
Each school in the district is provided with the services of an EL teacher for daily language instruction. The role of the EL teacher is as follows:
Provide English language instruction for students
Collaborate with school staff in the language development of ELs
Obtain Home Language Surveys in which a language other than English is indicated from MSIS/Cohort clerks
Administer placement test for identification of ELs
Ensure all original EL documents are filed in students’ cumulative folders
Maintain and distribute EL rosters to stakeholders as changes occur
Collaborate with SET team to ensure exiting and monitoring criteria are met
Collaborate with stakeholders to ensure best practices and supports for ELs are made available
Continue to participate in opportunities which will further expand expertise in the field
Adhere to the guidelines outlined in the DeSoto County EL teacher handbook
Perform tasks and assume responsibilities as may be assigned by the Director of EL Services or superintendent
Adhere to the Mississippi Code of Ethics
Maintain confidentiality and privacy of all DeSoto County Schools’ records
In addition to the EL teachers, all DeSoto County teachers are language teachers. All teachers should hold ELs to the same high academic standards that are expected of all students; however, content teachers must understand that to do this, differentiated instruction, modifications, and accommodations must be provided to each EL for instruction and assessment to be meaningful and to meet individual needs as required by law.
If content teachers need ideas, recommendations, or research on best practices for English Learners to help make accommodations in the classroom, feel free to contact me via email any time. It's my pleasure to share resources and encourage us all to work together to serve all students.
Liliana Rangel is our Spanish interpreter/translator for DeSoto County Schools. Ms. Rangel is available to come to your campus to serve as an interpreter in meetings between the school and parents. She can also translate written documents from English into Spanish if they are resources the entire district can use. To request translation services, you will simply follow the instructions outlined on the Translation Services of our EL Department website. There are electronic forms to complete in order to coordinate your needs with Ms. Rangel's availability. She is one person serving all 42 schools, and we are thankful to have her on our English Learners team!
Ms. Rangel is an energetic and encouraging professional and is always eager to help, but be sure to give yourself plenty of time to coordinate meetings with her since she is often interpreting at various campuses across the district.
If you have an educational need that needs a quick turnaround, Google Translate and the Microsoft Translator App are such beneficial tools. If you need to email a parent or even communicate with students while in your classroom, these are easy and effective to use.
Best contact information for Ms. Rangel:
Email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or call 662- 449-7282.
Links for Teachers: