The Times They Are a-Changin’
Teri Wiechart, OFLA President 2013-2014
The lyrics from 1964 are still pertinent today, though those of us who remember them from the first time around believed that we invented the idea. I suspect the message is timeless.
Embrace the Changes…
As the leaves turn from green to gold, and we are swamped with SLOs, IPAs, OTES, and others in the alphabet soup of education reform, it is a good time for self-reflection. As we think about how we might embrace the changes, we can look to see how we might become better teachers, and how we might help our students know and love the languages we love and teach.
…Reap the Benefits
As we reflect on our teaching and student learning, we can see ways to make changes, big and small. It is this introspection that helps us grow as teachers and helps our students grow as well.
—Teachers Helping Teachers
As the year goes on, we will continue to offer regional professional development with OFLA members teaching other OFLA members topics of mutual interest. The Conference, April 10-12, 2014 at the Polaris Hilton, Columbus, will showcase the many talented teachers in Ohio who have decided to help other teachers.
The proposals have been submitted. You will hear by mid-December if your proposal was accepted. Conference registration will open mid-January. You will be able to make hotel reservations at that time, also.
We have so many opportunities for you during the conference. There are nearly 100 sessions, included in the price of registration—which is still $50, a bargain compared to other conferences. There will be 20+ workshops on many topics.
Keynote speaker and workshop presenter, Laura Terrell, will encourage you and give you very useful ways to invigorate your classroom.
The Awards Banquet will take place Friday evening, with special speaker John DeMado. He is sure to entertain you as well as inform you. This banquet is open to all conference attendees and their guests. Prices will be available on the conference registration. The President’s Reception will follow immediately after the banquet. You could spend an evening of eating, entertainment, and collegiality.
Our third nationally recognized presenter is Carol Gaab. She will be
sharing her expertise in reading strategies and in teaching for fluency
with comprehensible input. Her enthusiasm and dynamism will capture your
imagination and give you many new ideas ready to use in your very next
class. She will be doing multiple workshops and sessions.
We will schedule time for collaboration and connecting with one another. Now is a good time to start asking for the days off. Remind your administrators that OTES requires you to have a Professional Growth Plan. Teachers are to have a Professional Growth Plan that supports the their Individualized Professional Development Plan (IPDP). The PGP includes “support needed to further the teacher’s continuous growth and development.” The evaluator should recommend professional development opportunities, and support the teacher by providing resources (e.g., time, financial). [OTES Training workbook, p 12, p 29-31 and Standard 7.2 Teachers take responsibility for engaging in continuous, purposeful professional development.] OFLA works very hard to provide that very purposeful PD.
REGIONAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Martha Pero and her Professional Development Committee have worked hard throughout the summer and early fall to provide multiple opportunities to get and provide training on topics of current interest to Ohio teachers. There were 18 workshops from July 30 to September 28. We are willing to continue to offer what teachers in Ohio need and want. Contact Martha with your requests, and we will see what we can do to provide them.
OFLA is always trying to provide for our members. Please let us know what we can do for you.
Best wishes from the OFLA leadership as you embark on the new school year.