Tim Blackburn

Tim works as a senior advisor on projects focused on English learners, classroom instruction, and equity. After receiving his B.A. in Spanish from Kansas State University, he promptly joined the Peace Corps to serve as an environmental educator in Guatemala. Upon his return, he joined the Peace Corps Fellows Program at Teachers College, Columbia University where he pursued his M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. While pursuing his master's degree at night, he served as a teacher in a variety of roles at two high schools in the Bronx. This was a transformative experience, as it shaped his formative years as a high school ESL teacher and bilingual educator. Since arriving in Oregon in 2012, he has worked as a teacher on special assignment in the Oregon Migrant Education Service Center, providing technical support to the hundreds of professionals working in migrant education throughout Oregon. Prior to joining Education Northwest, Tim worked on the equity unit at the Oregon Department of Education where he designed and delivered professional learning for supporting English learners in the Common Core State Standards.

My favorite sound is the hum of a busy classroom. I love engaging my students in compelling, relevant content, while exercising the academic language and analytical skills my students need for school success. At Education Northwest, I get to share this passion with my colleagues through professional learning.

Blog Posts

Implementing ‘Language in the Air’: Key Ways a District Elevated English Learner Instruction


March 23rd, 2018

When your goal is to make expanded opportunities for English learners to practice language skills throughout the school day a reality, how do you go about it?

A Framework for Supporting English Learner Students’ Language Development


March 14th, 2018

This is the second in a three-part series on Ontario School District’s “language in the air” approach to creating opportunities for students learning English to practice language throughout the school day. Check out Part 1 and Part 3 to learn more about this project. From the beginning, our...

Language in the Air: How a District has Elevated English Learner Student Interaction


March 1st, 2018

English learners benefit when they have opportunities for language practice throughout the day. What does it take for schools to make this happen?

Violence in the News Underscores the Importance of Listening to Students


December 22nd, 2016

A few weeks ago, just after the tragedies in Baton Rouge and Dallas, I met informally with some colleagues. Each of us felt a confusing array of pain and numbness. I remember feeling especially unmoored by seemingly endless and totally senseless violence. I told my colleagues about a vulnerable moment I’d experienced recently—something that had really stuck with me in the wake of all the trauma.

A Powerful Invitation


September 28th, 2015

"In my classrooms, I have tried multiple approaches, and through much experimentation, I’m convinced that what really matters is giving my students get as many opportunities as possible to practice subject-specific academic language through focused conversations with their peers."