Category Archives: Collaboration

Proficiency and Parents
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Proficiency and Parents

We’re all about the proficiency path at our school. I’ve got the levels posted in my classroom: the ice cream cone graphic in elementary and signs with level descriptors in middle school. We’re using can-do statements in every unit, assessing with IPAs, learning language in context.  My alumni students leave with a language immersion trip […]

Joining Forces
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Joining Forces

As a father of young kids, I’ve talked with other dads about when to share one of the most sacred of topics with my kids: Star Wars. We’ve gone ’round and ’round with what age, what order, and whether or not to start at Episode 1 or Episode 4, but the thing that remained clear was […]

High Tide, Low Tide: The Ebb and Flow of Professional Development
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High Tide, Low Tide: The Ebb and Flow of Professional Development

#ACTFL16 was, again, an exciting, worthwhile experience for me. I find it incredibly energizing to be in setting after setting with like-minded language educators, be it a session, a meal, or a champagne toast, with dear friends or new acquaintances. It is important to sustain the energy that a convention activates and to reflect on […]

Comparison: Challenging Tool or Thief of Joy?
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Comparison: Challenging Tool or Thief of Joy?

Have you ever had someone say something so startling that, in an instant, their words seem to smack you in the face with a reality check? I recently had one of those moments: an abrupt and much-needed a-ha! moment, that reminded me to be my best teacher self, I need to give myself grace and keep it all in […]

I have a voice
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I have a voice

One thing I learned from participating in the TELL Collab in Austin, Texas, last summer is that I have a voice. I had been teaching almost 10 years, had participated in weekly Twitter chats, and had been a department chair, but being able to participate in the TELL Collab and freely share with other like-minded […]

A Department Divided
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A Department Divided

There you are in a professional development session on proficiency. The light bulb goes off! “Why have I not been doing this all along?” you think to yourself. You find yourself looking for more information to help you make the shift to a proficiency-based practice. You find yourself reading blogs, participating religiously in Langchat, surfing […]

Product v. Process
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Product v. Process

I have been told at times how much people love our curriculum in Shelby County Schools (SCS). It is really flattering to see that your hard work has received some praise or acceptance outside of your context. At the same time I have also been asked, if it’s good why do we keep revising it? […]

Dream Team
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Dream Team

If there is one thing I would want a new(er) teacher to take away from my blog, and especially this post, it would be to create your Dream Team.  Do you remember the 1992 Olympics with the Dream Team?  This was such a big deal for the United States.  The team was comprised of some […]