On their own path (01/28/2017)

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After spending a wonderful weekend at TELL Collab Seattle last week (thanks to Japanese teacher, Colleen Lee-Hayes for her reflections of the learning on day 1 and day 2 last), I’m back to reviewing some of the posts that caught my attention over the last two weeks. And with just about everyone back to school, so are the bloggers who have been sharing insights and reflections from their classrooms.  Take a look at these posts that made me stop and think and consider joining me in NYC in March for another TELL Collab.

  • Spinning Plates: 30 preguntas for planning

    Planning a lesson is likely one of the most difficult aspects of being a teacher, and it’s no secret that most teachers don’t have enough time for it. Spanish teacher, Laura Sexton, shares a series of categorized questions that help her stay focused. Everything from how she can make herself comprehensible to the learners, to infusing culture, and differentiating, to keeping the focus on getting her learners to “a real, concrete communicative situation”. Of course, I’m already contemplating how to turn these questions into a lesson planning template.  Read Laura’s post –> 

  •  New Year’s Resolution: Type my Lesson Plans

    Speaking of lesson planning. In my New Year’s Post, I encouraged teachers to start thinking about establishing systems instead of setting goals for the new year. Spanish teacher, Andrea Brown, is sharing her process for being more intentional about lesson planning this year by finally typing them and after realizing that she had never “been required to submit detailed lesson plans, which I think would have been a helpful chore my freshman year of teaching.” Read Andrea’s post –>

  • Resolutions 2017: Do Something Empathetic

    To say that the political culture in our country is divisive would be an understatement. Sadly, very often so is the culture of our world language teaching field. In this powerfully honest post that will leave you thinking for days, Spanish educator Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell, challenges all of us on many levels and reminds us to “talk to the person, not the pedagogy.” Read Sara-Elizabeth’ post –>

  • How to Grow Your Language Program

    Sustaining or growing a quality language program is influenced by so many factors. Spanish teacher, Holly Viebranz, reflects on her situation and challenges in an attempt to figure out why “certain teachers had a much higher percentage of their students continue to study the language, and other teachers had hardly anyone chose to continue after spending the year with them .” Read Holly’s post –>

  • How I Try to Decrease Anxiety on Assessments

    We used to talk about students having test anxiety and then somehow we outlawed the word test and now students have assessment anxiety. Spanish teacher, Maris Hawkins, shares some important ideas how she tries to help keep the focus on the real purpose of assessment: performance & feedback. Read Maris’ post –>

  • From the Path 2 Proficiency: Holding Myself Accountable

    A new semester is also a good time to check and see how you are doing on meeting those EPIC goals you set last summer. Valerie gives an update on her journey that is helping her students to be “working more at their individual level, engaging with the material and participating without lots of pressure to perform during every class.” Read Valerie’s post –>

Thomas Sauer is the Director of Design and Communication for AdvanceLearning and an independent consultant. He previously held…

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