ODE and OFLA Team Up to Help Resident Educators
Ryan Wertz, Kathy Shelton and Paula Sondej, World Language Consultants, Ohio Department of Education
Education moves at a non-stop pace and this has never been more evident in Ohio during the past few years, including in the field of world languages. The sheer amount of new information related to instruction and assessment makes even the most experienced teacher’s head spin. For Resident Educators (new teachers in the first four years of their career), trying to navigate the education world can result in information overload. New state standards, instructional shifts, model curriculum, communication, interculturality, proficiency levels, comprehensible input, performance, authentic resources, Can-Do statements, essential questions and rubrics-oh my! Throw in a mélange of acronyms-ACTFL, OFLA, RE, RESA, OTES, SLO, IPA, TL, CI, TPRS-and it’s enough to make a new teacher run screaming from our noble profession.
With this in mind, the Ohio Department of Education and OFLA have engaged in a joint effort to support our newest teachers.. We have created the World Language Resident Educators Network* (www.worldlanguageresed.weebly.com) as a one-stop-shop for new teachers offering the following supports:
Information and FAQs for each year of the resident educator program.
Information, FAQs and helpful hints for year 3 RESA tasks.
Resources for planning, instruction and assessment
Regional networking meetings for world language teachers in years 1-5
Connections with a veteran teacher for online support.
At the annual OFLA conference, the OFLA Beginning Teachers Committee invites all new teachers to a networking breakfast meeting. The committee has also established a Facebook page for new teachers (OFLA Beginning Teachers Discussion Group) to share ideas and concerns, to collaborate and to connect with fellow teachers at a similar point in their career.
Teaching can be overwhelming, be it your first year or your forty-first year. But when new teachers-and all teachers-have a community of support and feel connected to their world language colleagues, it provides the energy boost necessary to forge through those overwhelming initial days into a lifelong career of immeasurable rewards.
*ODE and OFLA invite all beginning and veteran teachers to visit our resident educator website and join our Facebook group. If you are an experienced teacher or a new teacher and would like to connect for online support, please fill out a brief survey here.