Holly Haputa, Professional Development Chair
Spanish Teacher, Avon Lake High School
As I look out the window, I’m reminded what a beautiful time of year this is in Ohio – that seasonal transition where summer gives us its last dose of warmth. The autumn colors are beginning to bloom, the days are getting shorter and stores are tempting us for the upcoming holiday. It’s that time of year during which it seems three seasons descend upon us all at once. Ironically, the start of the school year seems to reflect nature’s carefully coordinated chaos. New students, staff, curriculum, buildings, technology, classes, resources—it all seems to converge on us at once. Yet, we manage to juggle the chaos with resolve, much like Mother Nature guiding the shift of seasons.
Change is the theme of this time of year. The trees seem to do it so naturally; it is not always so effortless for us educators. Thinking about change, where are you instructionally? What changes do you have planned for your instructional approach? How do you view change? Is it an opportunity to learn something new? Are you a little hesitant? Do you dive in or observe others first? Whatever your thoughts, I think change is important. It keeps us fresh as educators. It lets our students know that we are with them and not stuck somewhere in a time warp of the past only known to them from a TV show they binged on while watching Netflix. I challenge you this year to change one thing about yourself instructionally. A tiny shift or something bold, it doesn’t matter, but it will matter to your students.
As you ponder that change, OFLA is here to help. Watch for a survey late fall/early winter to let us know what you need. Check out social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are amazing resources for educators. Create a professional profile if you are hesitant about your personal information being on the web. There are many groups that create, share, and discuss all things world languages. You can access the information or ask a question at any time and get almost an immediate response. Some groups even meet regularly for workshops to keep your techniques on point throughout the year. Our extension workshop, “Fall into Context” will be October 7th at Lexington High School north of Columbus. Hopefully you can join us for a packed day of pedagogy and practice. We will wrap up the school year with an amazing 2018 Conference, “Contextualize This…” in Cleveland next April.