2019 OFLA Awards: Let’s Recognize Ohio’s World Language Teachers!

Beth Hanlon, OFLA Awards Chair
Spanish Teacher, Oberlin High School

Ohio is full of amazing world language teacher who deserve recognition! I am sure you do not need to look far in your school building, your district, or your group of teacher friends in order to find someone deserving of an OFLA teaching award. Why not consider taking that extra step to nominate that deserving and amazing teacher you know for a 2019 OFLA award?

Each year OFLA seeks nominations in fourteen categories: eleven for OFLA members and three for non-OFLA members. This year the OFLA board added the “Pre-Service Teacher Award” in order to recognize outstanding pre-service professionals from Ohio teacher training institutions.  The categories are listed below.

Please see this page for more information, including complete descriptions of award categories, and a nomination form. Any questions should be directed to: pres2018@ofla-online.org. A nomination letter, CV or résumé, letters of support, and additional support documentation are due November 1, 2018. Continue reading

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A WEEK OF LANGUAGE TEACHER BOOT CAMP: Organic World Language Summer Boot Camps

David McDonie, French Teacher, Chillicothe City Schools

Over the past three summers, I have had the privilege of attending Organic World Language (OWL) summer boot camps, both as a participant and as a facilitator. This summer I joined a group of curious and motivated educators from across the country in Alexandria, MN to spend a week learning how to become better teachers and how to make our students the center of our classroom..

The theme of the week was ROOAR, which stood for Roots, Open, Overcome, Authentic, and Risk-taking. We spent two days with the Roots theme, because the foundation of our practice is two-fold. First we build relationships with our students. We have fun, we love on them, and we create a community. The first day of the Boot Camp aims to create an Continue reading

Posted in Fall 2018, General, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

EVOLUTION OF AN EDUCATOR: Reflections on my final year in the K-12 language classroom

Becky Searls, Instructional Coach & Educational Consultant, Elevating Educators; Former Spanish Teacher at Upper Arlington City Schools

I recently left my job as a Spanish teacher! It was a bittersweet decision, because I absolutely love sharing languages, Spanish-speaking cultures, and my own travel abroad experiences with my students. The constraints that go along with a career in K-12 classroom teaching, however, were preventing me from finding long-term happiness in my work.

You may be wondering if I tried anything before throwing in the towel, and I can assure you I did! The year before last, during the 2016–2017 academic year, I took a self-designed traveling sabbatical and got to visit schools all over the world, making it to 13 countries in 12 months to learn about a variety of education systems and helping teachers facilitate meaningful global connections for their students! While it was an invigorating break from typical classroom routine to see what teachers around the world were doing, I found that my sabbatical did not re-invigorate me. Continue reading

Posted in Fall 2018, General, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Year in Review…And the Year to Come!

Beth Hanlon, 2017-2018 OFLA President
Spanish Teacher, Oberlin High School

Dear OFLA colleagues,

I hope your 2017-2018 school year is drawing to a close on a positive note! I also hope this summer will leave you refreshed and rejuvenated to head into the 2018-2019 school year.

I would like to take this opportunity to look back at the 2017-2018 OFLA year. It began with the August board retreat at the Cleveland Marriott. During the retreat, board members discussed and planned for the year as well as created goals. Each board member has been working on accomplishing their goals during this school year based on their board position. In creating these goals, we considered the data that was provided to us from the OFLA member survey that was available in May 2017. Continue reading

Posted in Letter from the President, Summer 2018, Uncategorized

Messages from the President-Elect

Milton Alan Turner, President Elect
French and Spanish Teacher, Saint Ignatius High School

2018 Elections

I would like to thank our outgoing OFLA board members Debbie Varga for serving as our Public Relations and Advocacy Chair, Kerry Parker for serving as Secondary Language Learning Committee Chair, and Shasha Gibbs for serving as Technology Integration Committee Chair. Following our elections earlier this year, we will be adding a few new and familiar faces to the OFLA board. Even though Lucas Hoffman is ending his term as Immediate Past President, we are fortunate to continue to benefit from his wealth of experience and wisdom as he will continue to serve as Executive Treasurer. Richard Emch will continue serving as Parliamentarian and Bylaws Committee Chair. We welcome back Cheryl Johnson from Denison University as Executive Vice President. Cheryl previously Continue reading

Posted in Executive News, General, Summer 2018, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Seal of Biliteracy: My School’s Experience

Lesley Chapman, OFLA Executive Vice President 
French Teacher, Sycamore High School

When Ohio adopted the Seal of Biliteracy in late fall, 2017, it joined the ranks of a total of 32 states recognizing students who achieve a high level of proficiency in listening, reading, writing, and speaking in two languages. This means that the class of 2018 is the first graduating class from Ohio that can add this honor to their high school transcripts.

At my high school, Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, we decided to take the plunge, and in April we tested our juniors and senior advanced World Language students for the Seal. There are multiple tests you can give to prove proficiency, and our school chose the STAMP4s test. We tested in French, Spanish, and Chinese. Our Latin teacher tested his students using ALIRA. Continue reading

Posted in Summer 2018, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2018 OFLA Award Winners

Lucas Hoffman, Past President
French and Spanish Teacher, Sylvania Schools

Congratulations to these 2018 OFLA Award winners! They were recognized on Friday, April 6, 2018, at the annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio. A detailed description on how to nominate for 2019 awards can be found at the end of this article and on our website, http://www.ofla-online.org.


Continue reading

Posted in Awards, General, Summer 2018, Uncategorized | Leave a comment