Sunday, January 28, 2018

What I learned in Hong Kong

This was my third time at the 21st Century Learning Conference in Hong Kong and I must say that is was as expected, just fabulous. I enjoy being around teachers who are excited about teaching and who love trying new ideas with their students rather than complaining about how terrible their students are and how unfair everything is. My greatest take away would be to limit cell phone use rather drastically and to have the students spend an increased amount of time on problem solving and communicating constructively with each other on a common goal. AR and VR are big, but only if you have the students being the ones who create the experiences rather than some pre-created items on apps. I loved presenting my Genius Hour project to the teachers and they had many good questions for me at the end. My next conference will be the AATSP in Salamanca, Spain. That will be the most extraordinary place for a conference. I encourage all of the teachers to participate in at least one conference per year in order to learn and progress in our profession. You simply should not teach the same lessons year in and year out.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year 2018

Here's another new year upon us. I do so hope this one will be a good one. I try to think good thoughts and maintain a hopeful attitude about the upcoming year. My Christmas tree will still be up for a few more days, until the next weekend. Back to school is upon us on Wednesday as we are going through some kind of arctic blast here in Tennessee. I am seriously wondering what to wear on Wednesday. I will probably be bundling up as we will be in the teens. I just found a great handout to attach to my syllabi from that explains 10 things Spanish teachers want parents to know. There are many people who seem to think that students ought to speak fluent Spanish upon the completion of the second year of Spanish. Their handout is really fantastic as it brings this thinking down to reality. I am so glad I found this on Twitter. So, my New Year's resolutions for my classroom are: 1. Stick to the target language, 2. Don't be so serious; laugh more again, 3. Be very careful how to share successes at school; no bragging. I believe those three resolutions will definitely work for me this second semester. You live and learn as a teacher. It's a never ending process. Well, unless you are like my former teachers in Germany who seemed to never change their lesson plans over the many years that they taught. But then we are not in Germany.