I hope the evil eye will not jinx me: I enjoyed today’s world-language teachers’ inservice!
We have a great new curriculum director to replace the wonderful one who left. He lined up a useful webinar on linking language instruction with Common Core goals (no matter what you think of those, it’s useful to have the language to talk about how we address them), as well as our school board president and a technology person to show us tools we could use in the classroom. He gave us school department time and language group time, and he let us advertise our upcoming conference and the PLC. He spoke firmly against “Culture Days” and putting out chips and salsa as “culture,” leading me to think he’ll be really happy with Michael Miller’s presentation on embedding cuture at AFLA 2013.
Our new superintendent spoke on video in the most unusual, laughter- and admiration-inducing montage of video and sound and movie clips that anyone could imagine, ending with an admission that the year ahead could have some serious challenges, but he was looking forward to working with us to make things right. I wish that I could share the video with you.
Our new school board president, herself formerly a French teacher of high acclaim who had actually taught the new curriculum director, gave us four challenges: to use technology creatively, staying ahead of the curve; to participate in Professional Learning Communities (she mentioned our TPRS group as an example of an effective one that she had attended); to connect with our community, from parents to legislators, inviting them into our classrooms; and to remember that all students are capable of learning a language. I’m going to ask her to send me the text of the technology section because it was inspiring, starting with the example of her 1980’s cassette tapes with TPR scripts, but I was especially glad that she shared her stories of working with students at risk who learned French under her tutelage.
In our school department time, we shared life stories for the first time ever. It was fascinating, and long overdue! In the language group, the Russian speakers got some important decisions and planning done. We used our time so well that we all left feeling pleased.
I know this isn’t exactly a TPRS/CI post, but it’s a very happy person wishing that all of you have as wonderful a cross-district inservice day to start your year.