Professional Development, Collegiality, Support and Shared Knowledge
Roz Terek, Immediate Past President
French Teacher, Poland Seminary High School
When I think about the changes that have recently been imposed on teachers in Ohio and throughout the nation, it seems clear to me that the upcoming 2014 OFLA Conference will be an event Ohio’s World Language Teachers will want to attend more than ever before. The conference theme seems to sum up the concerns that many teachers have.
Indeed, “The Times, They Are a-Changin’” Embrace the Changes, Reap the Benefits—Teachers Helping Teachers” says it all. Changes are evident throughout the teaching profession. Teachers can embrace them, benefit from them and help one another to face them with the knowledge needed to implement them.
During the past year, OFLA, through its strong leadership and its “spot on” professional development workshops, has helped hundreds of Ohio’s World Language teachers to learn about these changes and to understand more clearly how change can actually benefit them and their students.
It is clear to me that being an OFLA member and later becoming a member of the OFLA Board allowed me to grow in several ways. It was in 2006 that I joined the OFLA Board. I was nearing the end of my career. Perhaps I should say that I believed I was reaching the end of my teaching career.
Finally, it seemed that I would have the time to serve the association I joined many years ago. And so, when I became a member of the OFLA Board, I experienced the collegiality, support and shared knowledge that has allowed me to grow professionally and personally. At each of the OFLA Board Meetings, the members discuss the issues at hand, and they do so with a feeling that they are a member of a team. The OFLA team’s goal is not a victory as one might expect in a sporting event. Instead, the OFLA Board’s goal is service to its members.
The OFLA Board always strives to serve its members well. It does so by planning both the annual conference and numerous professional development opportunities throughout the year. This year has seen an exceptional call to action for the OFLA team. And once again, OFLA “took the ball and ran with it.” OFLA brought the best professional development possible to its members during a year that began with concerned teachers in every discipline.
This year, I have heard many teachers from other disciplines say that they wish they had the support that OFLA offers its members. Hearing those words from my colleagues has made me realize more than ever the value of being an active OFLA member.
Consider Volunteering for OFLA
And so, as you begin to prepare for the second term of this academic year, consider becoming more active in OFLA. Volunteer to help at the conference. Accept a request to become a member of an OFLA Committee. Share your expertise in teaching by presenting at the annual conference next year. A great place to start is a “get acquainted” session at the OFLA conference at 12:30 on Saturday!
You will be so thankful you did!
2014 Election Update
The Nominating Committee, Martha Castaneda, Richard Emch, Cheryl Johnson, Fred Toner, Mark Himmelein, Carol Eiber and I have decided on a slate of candidates for the 2014 OFLA Election. The offices that need to be filled are: Executive Vice-President, Editor for Electronic Media, Professional Development Chair, Beginning Teachers Chair, Scholarship Chair and Early Language Learning Chair. The potential candidates will be approved at the January OFLA Board Meeting. Once again, the election will be done via electronic balloting.
Have a great beginning to the second semester! See you at conference!