Painten Takes New Role As ELL Teacher


Painten talks to students about her new class

Meagan Sundstrom

Mrs. Painten talks to students about her new class.

As a child, many people have dreams to take up a certain career when they grow up.  Many kids imagine becoming heroic firefighters, glamorous movie stars, or star athletes.  Although in the future these dreams may not come true, one’s hopes provide long lasting goals to try to achieve.  When Francine Painten was a young girl, she knew exactly what she wanted to be: a teacher.  After tutoring individual students at Walpole High School, she was given an amazing opportunity — to teach a class of her own.

Raised in Fall River, Massachusetts, Mrs. Painten always knew that teaching was the job for her.  She graduated from the University of Connecticut, but later got sidetracked, stayed at home, and worked outside of education.  However, the tables turned when she was able to secure a position as a tutor for the high school and she found that she absolutely loved it.

     Last year was Francine Painten’s first year as a staff member at Walpole High School.  She tutored multiple individuals attending the school whose first language was not English.  Mrs. Painten had the time of her life helping the ELL students, English Language Learners, become more successful with their classes.
Without any expectations of a more rewarding position than helping her students grow and learn, Mrs. Painten was taken off guard when she was recently offered the position of teaching a class with all of her ELL students.
       Before Mrs. Painten another faculty member taught the class, but she was thrilled to find out about this new position which she would say yes to in a heartbeat.  Along with tutoring them individually, this school year she was able to meet with all eight English learners every five out of seven school days during a scheduled time.
       The ELL class teaches students of a different first language the basic skills of an English student.  This includes social skills and body language needed while communicating to an English speaker.  These interpersonal language skills are necessary because what may be appropriate in one culture may not be appropriate in another.  Also, reading and writing are critical because all of her students are in regular classes, and they are expected to do the same work as everyone else.As opposed to just tutoring her enrolled students one on one, Painten’s class allows her to work with her students more frequently.  Mrs. Painten said, “I love [teaching the class] because I would work with the students during their study block, but this way I get to work with them during class, and knows I will see them at a scheduled time ”  Painten strongly believes that the class will indeed be a success, and she hopes to even have an ELL class next year.

     Along with tutoring and the new class, Francine Painten also supervises online courses for Advanced Placement or technology and Novanet, which is used for credit recovery.
     It is not often that a young child’s dreams come true, but when they do a huge sense of accomplishment is obtained.  For hardworking individuals like Mrs. Painten, the achievement of a long term goal is extremely rewarding.  Mrs. Painten was able to not only land a career in the education department, but also watch her students grow every day and get through the frustrations of learning a second language.