I don't know about you, but for me going to a Professional Development conference (an effective one, mind you) in the middle of a crazy semester is like being thrown a life preserver when you are treading water and barely keeping afloat; it gives me an opportunity to stop, breathe, and evaluate what I am doing.
This year at the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina (FLANC) Fall Conference, I was given two amazing opportunities: 1) to go for free thanks to a generous scholarship from FLANC, and 2) to present on a topic that I am extremely passionate about: proficiency-based, technology-driven teaching and learning.
I went into FLANC a little nervous because, while I had presented at a conference before, this was my first conference in which I was actually presenting to peers of my same content area. It's nerve-wracking to get up in front of 20 other amazing educators who are taking time out of their busy schedules to better themselves and are hoping that my presentation will help achieve that goal. While my presentation left much to be desired (hey, it was my first real presentation), it felt wonderful to share this passion of mine with fellow World Language educators.
As a participant, I attended many wonderful presentations that made me really think about how I can be a better French teacher and really teach my kids how to speak French, not just how to memorize pointless grammar. In one of the sessions my idea of interpersonal speaking activities was challenged and turned on its head; I ended up coming straight back to my classroom and tweaking activities that I thought were amazing and making them truly phenomenal. I was even given the opportunity to talk ASW with some veterans of the process, so I feel much more prepared for my own ASW this year.
Each session I attended gave me new and innovative ideas, but my big take-away from the conference was Interactive Notebooks. I have heard of a lot of people using INs, but I have resisted because I thought my way was better until I heard from Carrie Hinson, a first-year teacher who has used INs to make her kids experience the language/grammar in a way that I had not considered possible on paper. Through hands-on activities, foldables, and songs, Carrie has made her middle school Spanish class an inviting, innovative space where real learning occurs. You can email Carrie for her presentation, it's worth it to see how passionate her kids are about learning Spanish because of a few small things that their teacher does to make it interesting; she even has a Pinterest page. I plan to implement Interactive Notebooks in my class next semester, which I think will help to invigorate my teaching and give my students a much more hands-on learning experience. I'm really excited about it, so stay tuned!
So, even though I am in the midst of a coo-coo-cocoa puffs kind of semester, after attending FLANC I feel refreshed and ready to conquer my classroom with some new, innovative teaching and learning.
Welcome to my blog where I share tips that I have learned as a young teacher with little to no resources seeking to create a relevant, rigorous French curriculum.
Click on the link to find resources that are useful in the French classroom!
My name is Mme Probst and I am a French teacher who, after years of struggling to find resources without a text, decided to share my resources with the world so that other teachers didn't have to do the same.