When quality teachers have the support of strong program leaders who work to understand the complexity of dual language immersion education, the benefits to students compound. This dynamic relationship between skilled teachers and knowledgeable administrators has convinced add.a.lingua that ongoing professional development for all immersion stakeholders is key to building and sustaining high quality dual language immersion programs.
The role of immersion program leaders in establishing the bar for both instructional staff
and students cannot be overstated. Over the years, add.a.lingua has noted the strong correlation between invested administrators and quality immersion programs. Leaders who understand how model and methodology directly impact immersion student outcomes are better equipped to hire qualified teaching candidates, foster unity between programs (mainstream and immersion), raise the status of the minority or immersion language, and communicate the goals and standards involved in a multilingual approach to education.
But how do we define quality? We began to work through this question in workshop style sessions with partner school leaders at leadership institute 2016 using add.a.lingua’s quality quadrant success indicators as our guide. By familiarizing leaders with these research-based success indicators, we hope to build a collaborative professional learning community committed to upholding best practice
During leadership institute 2016 we focused on three outcomes:
- developing a common language surrounding add.a.lingua’s quality quadrants
- building understanding of the success indicators within each quality quadrant
- identifying who we need to be in order to engage the quadrants in program and classroom level decisions.
Other highlights from our time with program leaders included:
- extended opportunities for collaboration
- the announcement of our first academic advisory board and a welcome (via video) from its members: Dr. Diane Tedick, Dr. Tara Fortune, and Dr. Mandy Menke.
- a special message on setting the bar in immersion education from Kenneth C. Williams (founder of Unfold the Soul), who charged us to roll up our sleeves and do the work to make sure quality quadrant success indicators translated into discrete,
observable actions and behaviors in the classroom…because we’re on a MISSION!
We know growth (both personal and programmatic) doesn’t happen by accident. The learners AND leaders at leadership institute 2016 gave tremendous amounts of time and energy, all fueled by a desire to prepare students for an interconnected world.
So, to our dedicated partner program leaders, please accept our HUGE thanks. To the leaders who shared their experience in order to enrich the journey for all, who brought their A game, who logged on at 5 AM, who showed up and went all in…thanks. CHEERS! Here’s to you!