It’s been one of those really busy weeks, where I have been counting the days, hours, and minutes until the weekend. For some reason nothing seemed to work this week and everything was due at once. It’s nice to know though that I wasn’t alone and going through these blog posts reminds me that we are together: a family of educators. Hope you find these posts from “my family” as helpful as I did this week.

  • The Empty Desk

    Being a language teacher is so much more than inspiring young learners to acquire a new language and explore new cultures and perspectives. Anyone that has spent some time teaching, knows that the “it’s all about relationships” mantra couldn’t be more true. This certainly hit home in this incredibly raw post by Spanish teacher Jessica Pederson dealing with a sudden loss in her classroom. What Jessica describes just might be the most important task you have as a teacher. While I hope that not every teacher has to experience this, it provides me with comfort to know that our students are in good hands.  Read Jessica’s post –>

  • They couldn’t hear the word “no”

    This rich post from Spanish über-Blogger, Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell, is like getting a Buy-One-Get-One-Free post as she is reminded of one of her earlier entries she wrote addressing a level 1 teacher from the perspective of an AP teacher. Now that she is once again teaching level 1 and experiencing some unexpected challenges, those words from her past ring once again true. Sara-Elizabeth’ advice covers everything from using authentic resources, to using real-life contexts, and teaching idiomatic expressions. Read Sara-Elizbeth’ post –>

  • A toe in the water

    If you are considering making changes in your teaching and helping your students move along towards higher levels of proficiency but don’t know where to start, then this post from Spanish teacher Brian Riordan might be for you. Sure, the beginning of the school year is often the easiest for big changes, but how about taking the time at the end of the school year to try something new. What do you have to lose? “I announced to the kids in Spanish 3 & 4 that there will be no more (explicitly-taught) vocabulary or grammar quizzes the remainder of the year.  I just couldn’t continue on the old way in good conscience.” Intrigued? Then you should read Brian’s post –>

  • From the Path 2 Proficiency: Forge Ahead, Finish Strong

    “This time between Spring Break and the end of the school year may seem like Heartbreak Hill of the Boston Marathon.” If you are on of those teachers, who is counting the days until the end of the school year, then Spanish teacher, Paul Jennemann has an inspirational story that might make you want to make the best of these last few remaining days. Read Paul’s post –>

  • From the Path 2 Proficiency: Make sure your students get F.E.D.

    Many of us understand that using rubrics is important and this week’s #langchat discussion brought out many great ideas and suggestions for doing so effectively. World language educator, Alyssa Villarreal, reminds us in her post about the true purpose of a rubric and shares how to close the feedback loop. Read Alyssa’s post –>

  • From the Path 2 Proficiency: Finding Time in the Crunch

    The newest author in the P2P family, Spanish teacher Valerie Shull, provides some honest insights into how she tries to incorporate reflection into her planning process despite “a rapid fire class schedule”. In her post, she shares four specific steps that have allowed her to “assess how effective (or ineffective) my unit/lesson/interaction was, and think about what comes next.”  Read Valerie’s post –>

  • From the Path 2 Proficiency: Fashion Forward

    Sure you have heard about the importance of using authentic resources. Sure have some lessons that are stale but you don’t know how to change them. Well, Spanish teacher, Rose Rhodes, felts the same and shared some ideas on how she effectively upgraded a lesson from last year using authentic resources.  Read Rose’s post –>

Published by Thomas Sauer

Thomas Sauer is the Director of Design and Communication for AdvanceLearning and an independent consultant. He previously held positions as world language specialist in the Fayette County Public Schools and Jefferson County Public Schools for almost ten years and taught German at the University of Kentucky, Georgetown College and Kentucky Educational Television. He has directed a variety of state and federal grants, most recently as program director and consultant for several successful STARTALK programs. Thomas has served as President of the Kentucky World Language Association as well as on the Board of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the National Association of District Supervisors of Foreign Languages and the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Named the 2011 Pearson/NADSFL Supervisor of the Year and a 2010 Global Visionary by the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana, Thomas is passionate about helping educators making the shift from teaching to learning.

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