Friday Sunday! I am straight up exhausted from ACTFL, and I didn’t even have to travel that far to get home! I have been to three other ACTFLs, but this one was incredible. It was a great mix of friends from home, friends from afar and new friends. Thank you so much to everyone who introduced themselves to me. I loved getting to meet all of you!
It started off with a bang- and that is that Rebecca Blouwolff won Teacher of the Year! Not only is Rebecca an amazing teacher and person, but she is truly authentic and intelligent. Her ideas continue to transform my own teaching. She is more than everything a Teacher of the Year should be, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Her speech was pretty much one huge mic-drop, brave and powerful all at once, and I loved it. (If you want to hear more from her, she has been on the We Teach Languages podcast frequently!) Then, I continued to meet more and more people that I know online that I had never met before including Stacey Margarita Johnson! Everyone was shocked that we hadn’t met before, but it was beyond a joy to meet her. She also radiates so much positivity and joy. (I think I hugged her about 10 times!)
The sessions were amazing, and I plan to collate my tweets into real reflections and call to actions soon. But the closing keynote was nothing short of amazing. Dr. Christopher Emdin gave such a powerful speech that was both a call to action and affirming at the same time. He challenged many of our practices as “foreign” language teachers. I was truly moved, and it was also special because I could look around the room at so many people who inspire me and feel how moved they were, too. The feeling in the room was truly incredible.
If you are like me, I plan on using some of these ideas that I learned on Monday, but I also want time to really sit and process them. Try some of these ideas for Monday:
- Have a conversation about Thanksgiving with these guiding questions!
- For our second and third grade students, we are using Spanish Mama’s book for Thanksgiving. For our preK/K and first grade students we are using El pavo de muchos colores. (Also in my prek/k class, we are definitely watching the Frozen 2 trailer in Spanish!)
- Samara Spielberg has been doing a month long gratitude challenge, but you can jump in at any point!
- Also, I finally figured out Smashdoodles, and students completed them with our book that we are doing. They really referenced the book a lot, and it was a great review.
- Finally, lean into the excitement and play some games! Of course, there is always GimKit with their newest codes that require students to move, my game version of weekend chat that students love or a sentence-picture game!
Also, here are some of my favorite posts from this past week:
- AnneMarie posted another great CI game idea!
- Anne Marie reflected on a session with Cécile Lainé about cultural bias.
- Kara has created another wonderful unit around the newest Gordo commercials that is good for intermediate level students.
- If you haven’t checked out Justin’s mantras, what are you waiting for?! They are perfect to center you before a hectic week (or after a hectic weekend!)