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 […]

Forget about your goals this year!
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Forget about your goals this year!

“Should old acquaintances be forgotten, And never brought to mind?” … it only takes this song and a couple of hours of reflection on the just-completed calendar year and our list of resolutions or goals for the new year is longer than the grocery list for Christmas dinner. Of course, it’s easy to set goals and […]

What you missed on the path in 2016
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What you missed on the path in 2016

As the calendar turns to a new year, we are of course looking back at 2016 and looking forward to 2017. We added several new authors this year and more are coming on board next year. Since it’s an unspoken rule to share your top posts of the year, we thought we do the same […]

An ImpACTFL Reunion
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An ImpACTFL Reunion

I was so glad I was able to attend ACTFL this year in Boston! Though it was my first time attending an ACTFL convention, it really felt like a class reunion more than attending a convention because there were so many friends and colleagues I got to catch up with that I had seen at […]

Taking Back Sunday
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Taking Back Sunday

No, Taking Back Sunday isn’t the name of a band, although I think if we strung together a ragtag rock group of tired teachers, perhaps it could be. Here in the throes of DEVOLSON, it could work. Taking Back Sunday is the mindset I adopted exactly five years ago today (thanks, Facebook “On This Day” […]

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 […]

Continuing Your Conference Path
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Continuing Your Conference Path

Going to a conference, especially one as large as this year’s ACTFL Convention with over 8,500 attendees, can be incredibly invigorating. Meeting so many teachers who seem to understand just how you think, who understand your struggles, and who are trying to figure how to make this “proficiency thing” happen with their students. But even if […]

What I Wish I Knew as a New Teacher
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What I Wish I Knew as a New Teacher

When I was observed as a new teacher by administrators and other people, they noted that I had a good rapport with the students, that I knew my content, that I stayed in the target language a good portion of the time, but that I needed to work on my classroom management. Our post-observation conference […]

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 […]

When Too Much is…Too Much (Stay on the Path!)
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When Too Much is…Too Much (Stay on the Path!)

Boy did I need Alyssa Villarreal’s recent post last fall–I was great about setting goals, but they were too many and too big! I spent the school year spinning, working non-stop and on the verge of burnout.   What followed was a summer spent recovering from my near burnout crash–with no work, no PD (I’m happy […]