Each school year often brings new challenges to the evolving landscape of foreign language teaching and learning. As we navigate some uncertain waters, I have found that a professional association, such as OFLA, can be a beacon of guidance on the horizon. Members helping and encouraging members to focus on the students through teaching for proficiency will strengthen Ohio’s position as one of the national leaders in language acquisition. Be an advocate for yourself and for your language program and start by joining your professional associations. In addition, I encourage you to make the most of your professional association by joining and keeping your membership active in order to take advantage of the many professional development and networking opportunities. Moreover, the standing committees could always use more enthusiastic and energetic members. My own experience on an OFLA standing committee has proved to be an excellent opportunity to develop a network of supportive colleagues and provided many opportunities for professional development while allowing me to contribute to the field. If you are interested in joining a committee, please email the respective committee chair for further information.
Speaking of advocating and being involved, our Nominations Committee, chaired by Teri Wiechart, is seeking candidates to vet and to run for the following positions: Executive Vice-President, Treasurer, By-Laws Chair & Parliamentarian, and Public Relations & Advocacy Chair. Please email Teri Wiechart if you know someone the Nominations Committee should consider.
Another way to remain active and engaged in your professional association is through professional development. Our Professional Development Committee has been working with the Ohio Department of Education in creating and rolling out user-friendly rubrics to assist you in your proficiency and performance assessments. Martha Pero Halemba, Professional Development Chair, is also working with the committee to continue to develop the high quality regional workshops that OFLA is proud to provide. OFLA members can check for professional development opportunities under “Events” at ofla.memberlodge.org.
One highlight of the OFLA Board’s work that occurred over the summer is that the editor of The Cardinal, Beth Hanlon, has formed an editing team to help maintain the high standards for which our flagship publication has become known. OFLA members are always encouraged to submit articles for publication. Moreover, Cheryl Johnson, Editor for Electronic Publications, has been working to make our website more aesthetically pleasing and more intuitive to navigate. These are just a few of the many features the Ohio Foreign Language Association is pleased to provide its members.
An additional way to remain involved in your professional association and promote the study of foreign languages is by recognizing the outstanding members in our field. Martha Castañeda, the Awards Committee Chair, is currently accepting nominations for the Ohio Foreign Language’s 2015 Awards. A detailed list of the awards and selection criteria can be found at http://www.ofla-online.org/index.php/awards/4-awards .
The deadline for submitting an award nomination is December 2, 2014.
Finally, I would like to share that the busy Ohio Foreign Language Association Board is excited to plan and implement projects for the upcoming year, especially the 2015 Ohio Foreign Language Conference at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Sandusky. The Conference Committee has received many great session proposals from the OFLA membership!
As we continue this academic year, on behalf of the Ohio Foreign Language Association Board, I wish you the best in all of your endeavors.