¡Comienza la cuenta regresiva!
Many say that the year 2020 was tough. The pandemic altered the way we live and teach in an instant. There was a lot of uncertainty, plans got canceled, and everything changed. But if you look at the positive side… we learned and grew in so many ways.
Look back a year ago… you may not have needed to explore technology the way you do now in class. THIS was the year that you were able to find new ways to work around what you usually do in the classroom to adapt them to online teaching. You discovered new tools and new approaches…
Maybe interactive Google slides are now so easy for you to use…
Or teaching via Zoom suddenly is not that scary anymore…
And even you are an expert on Flipgrid and Edpuzzle!
You were forced to change the way you teach, and yes, it was stressful and challenging. But now you have an arsenal of tools to teach, grade, play, give input, collect output, and assess that remain with you forever.
So, when we go back to “normal” (will we ever go back to the same though?), all those learnings are yours to keep and reuse inside the classroom.
The year 2020 kept us busy and Diana and I managed to accomplish what we traced for you this year (even with our kids running around during the lockdown.)
Speaking Latino’s Year-in-Review
- The State of World Language Teaching
We started the year with the first-time initiative of the Annual Survey for World Language Teachers. 1,600+ teachers participated in the survey that resulted in a comprehensive report that helps teachers and local administrators in determining what is needed to improve the state of world language teaching in their district.
- Sub-plan Library Boost
In March, we started boosting our sub-plans offering inside the Community with regular additions through the year for the novice, intermediate, intermediate-advanced, and advanced students.
And it turns out to be so convenient, especially for those sent home to quarantine while teaching. Having a source of lessons that any non-Spanish-speaker sub teacher can use to cover you was invaluable.
- Scaffolded Cultural and Current Event Activities
Meaningful activities, full of culture, and interesting topics that you can use at any time of the school year with ALL YOUR STUDENTS… this is what summarizes the essence of the Scaffolded Cultural and Current Event Activities we started this year.
Since April, our Spanish Teachers Community members have a constant flow of weekly activities that covers one Spanish-speaking country paired with an AP topic. But don’t let the “AP” label scare you. Since these activities are already scaffolded, students of any level can complete them.
This year we covered:
- Colombia: Las artes visuales y escénicas
- Guatemala: La ciencia y la tecnología
- España: La vida contemporánea
- Chile: Familias y comunidades
- México: Identidad nacional y étnica
- Puerto Rico: Los desafíos mundiales, el medio ambiente
- Argentina: Definiciones de la belleza
- Free Summer Weekly Training Series and Back-To-School Trainings
During July, 720 teachers benefited from free professional development during the summer break. We opened and re-play four incredible sessions from the virtual conferences we’ve hosted.
And right after that, in August, we released a series of videos to support teachers during back-to-school, including planning, grading and assessments, classroom management, and teaching challenges of 2020.
- The New Spanish Teachers Community Website
We spent the whole summer break working on a major project: the redesign of the Spanish Teachers Community website. We improved the look, structure, and organization of the platform that our members use to access hundreds of lessons and activities in the membership to support them through the school year.
If you would like to become a member of the Community, click here to get your name on the waitlist and get priority notification when we open enrollment again on January 17th, 2021.
- Spanish Teachers Community Free Account
Another initiative we were eager to release was the Free Account. We want to provide Spanish teachers with a hub to access all the materials we give away throughout the year.
The Free Account provides access to a changing set of materials that can be used at any time of the year, so you can take at least one day a week off from planning when using these resources. How many hours will that save you every month?
- Activators and Exit Tickets
In October, we finished the last batch of Activators and Exit Tickets for all of our lesson plans for Spanish 1, 2, and 3.
Think about our Activators as bell ringers, transition tools, brain breaks, or warm-up activities to get the ball rolling in class. These activities get students interested, engaged, and ready to study. Our Activators don’t have to be used to start class.
On the other hand, Exit Tickets are used at the end of each lesson to evaluate what students have learned. These are great for checking in with your students daily to see if you need to make quick adjustments to your teaching.
The Activators and Exit Tickets are part of the support files inside each lesson plan. Members can find them in each lesson’s folder.
- 2020 World Language Teacher Summit
The largest free online conference for world language teachers took place early in October and we were so honored to organize it. A total of 32 amazing speakers step-up to deliver an incredible conference covering the hot topics for online and in-person teaching.
A total of 14,500 teachers registered and enjoyed a full week of free professional development in these areas:
- The Slippery Slope: L2 (Staying in the Target Language)
- Inspiring Global Citizenship
- Tips for Real Language Interactions
- Building Blocks of Sustainable Programming
- Engagement Boot Camp
If you missed this Summit, you still purchase access to the recordings and bonuses here.
We created assessments for all of our 128 core lesson plans for Spanish 1, 2, and 3. Teachers have the option to use the assessments located inside the support files of each plan to check in with their students on each lesson’s topics.
The assessments evaluate listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills.
We also had a little treat for our members with a cool giveaway of gifts from Puerto Rico. We gave away coffee, hand-made pins, a storybook, and a magnet in a live drawing inside our private Spanish Teachers Support group on Facebook.
We look forward to a new and exciting new year and we hope to continue helping you during 2021.
¡Feliz año nuevo!
Jared and Diana