WHY I GO TO OFLA

howie

Lisa Howie, OFLA Executive Treasurer
Spanish Teacher, Smithville High School

I have been going to OFLA conferences, except for a few years, since I was a senior in college. I want to tell you why.

During my senior year at the University of Toledo, the Annual OFLA Conference was held in Toledo. Our professors took us to the conference. I loved it! I went to a session about a technique to teach pronunciation with a Japanese teacher and actually learned some Japanese in the process. I was so excited that I called a friend in Yokohama and told her what I had learned. My mom was not happy about the long distance phone bill that month! Mana replied, “Very good, Lisa, but your Japanese has a Spanish accent.”

Since I graduated with a degree in Spanish I decided to go to graduate school at the University of Louisville right away to earn my teaching credentials. That’s when I did student teaching.  My Cuban supervising teacher, a veteran, took me to the KCTFL conference that fall. She said to me, “You must do this every year. You must go to a conference to recharge your batteries, get new ideas, stay abreast of changes in the profession, and have fun with friends and colleagues.” I listened.

While I taught in Kentucky I went to the KCTLF conference. When I moved back to Ohio, I joined OFLA immediately and started attending conferences. Except for a few years when I was a stay-at-home mom, I have gone every year until COVID. I am so excited to be going back this year!

While I know we wanted a spring conference, I am looking forward to the one in July. There are many times we have a March or April conference, and I learn so many new things that I can’t process or implement them all.  I’m usually just happy if I can pull out one ready-made activity or game and try it on Monday morning. After that, I tell myself, “I’ll spend time going over all that information soon and will pull out what I really like/can use.” Honestly, most of the time that never happens for me. I put my notes in the bottom drawer and get them out in the fall when I am too busy getting ready for the school year to spend time with them. I am looking forward to this conference in July to really have time in the summer with my notes to digest what I have learned and make plans for the fall.

I hope to see you there!