lunes, 11 de septiembre de 2017

What does a fantastic, authentic PD experience lead to?

Professional Development is so important and it can be in so many forms. Some of my frequent favorites are:
  • going to conferences and making connections
  • reading a book in Spanish or a teaching-related book, like my most recent language-teaching related book: A Natural Approach to Stories
  • listening to podcasts in Spanish, my favorite is Radio Ambulante, which is back with a new episode this Tuesday
  • watching television shows in Spanish (I have the always cursi "La Rosa de Guadalupe" on in the background right now)
  • listening to music in Spanish, click here to see my summer running playlist 
  • blogging 
  • reading other blogs
  • #langchat-ing
  • talking to other language teachers
  • collaborating with other language teachers... usually  many states away for me!
  • and finally, my all time favorite PD... TRAVELING to Spanish speaking countries. During the past two years, I have gone to Costa Rica (with students EF Tours), Panama (with my family), Puerto Rico (with my family) and Ecuador (with mi amiga Carrie Toth and other teachers).

Me and Carrie on the Ecuator
Happy George
This summer, I did an amazing Professional Development experience! I traveled with EF Tours to Ecuador for 11 days with a fantastic group of teachers (click here to see what we did). It was organized by ICTFL, with the amazing Linda Egantz at the helm. We were also accompanied by George Stewart, who works for EF Tours, is a former Spanish teacher, and just an overall interesting, kind, open minded, knowledgeable person.

During and after this wonderfully, authentic Professional Development experience, I had a lot to process. I had a lot of questions and more learning to do when I returned. And then, I really wanted to bring some of the wonders and diversity that I experienced and learned about back to my students. Many of my students won't travel (although I am taking a group of 24 on this EF Tours Ecuador tour this June), but I wanted to show them the ways that travel and learning can enrich their lives and change their perspectives.

An authentic resource, especially if it is a song with a great video, can really be mined to hit the 5 Cs: Communication (in the 3 modes), Culture (3 Ps), Comparisons, Connections, and Communities in an engaging way for students. So, on July 28th, when I saw this promotional video for Ecuador (click here to read about it), I knew that I had to start with this for my "Ecuador" unit in my Cultura y Civilización unit.

I am so excited to share the unit, with tons of resources (click here to get it for free). 

I collaborated with Carrie Toth and Arianne Dowd, and Nelly Hughes edited the unit... what a trio of amazingness!  

I started my Cultura y Civilización with this unit and it has been a big hit! I hope that you can use it and that you will see what traveling for Professional Development can lead to! A big thanks to Linda Egantz and George Stewart for organizing such an amazing trip! And for Carrie Toth for being the best travel buddy and collaborator.

And one more thing, if you haven't yet, I highly recommend traveling with students, it is Professional Development and experiential learning with your students. George wrote a fantastic piece here and when I travel in June with my students, I am going to have them follow George's structure for travel DIVE. Click here for the details.

And here are some of the highlights from one of the best Professional Development experiences I have had...

        


  
      

   

   

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