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introducing the add.a.lingua educator summit: shifts in dual language immersion teacher training

Some say that professional development is like a lamp post. It “lights the way.” Others say that professional development is like a lamp post because if you run into it, it hurts.

Colleagues in education have various reasons for metaphors like those. We get it. After all, in order for professional development to be effective, it’s got to do some important stuff. It needs to be enjoyable, facilitated by qualified people, relevant, adaptable to each participant’s context, and be thought-provoking enough to inspire growth.

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What immersion program administrators discovered at our leadership institute in April is that professional development analogies are almost infinitely elastic: A soccer ball? A puppy? Yes. They found a connection between these crowd-sourced ideas and professional development.

So whatever your go-to analogy for professional learning, we want to share what we’ve done to make sure that all the important “stuff” that’s necessary for professional development is alive and well during educator summit 2016.

Teachers are at the heart of each facilitated session. Nearly all sessions at the educator summit will be co-facilitated by a pd team. The teams are made up of an add.a.lingua instructional team member and a current classroom teacher. We’re excited for participating teachers to explore learning with such rock star colleagues in the field of dual language immersion education. Interested in seeing who’s on deck for this summer? Check out the educator summit page on our blog, click on any of the photos of our facilitators to learn more about them.

Because we’re in this together, it makes sense that all of our professional learning is dedicated to dual language immersion education and research-based best practice. Our relevancy comes in as teachers work to blend district and school-based initiatives with the immersion model. The educator summit is geared toward providing teachers with well-deserved time to think, ponder, challenge, and affirm their practices to launch into the next school year. What’s more relevant than that?!

Every school is different, so your learning should include time to process with colleagues both within and beyond your teaching context. We’ve included a diverse set of experiences within the sessions this year to provide ample time for dialogue and discussion with grade level cohorts, school-specific time, and opportunities for teachers to determine the angle of conversation they wish to take. It’s our sincere hope that, at this year’s summit, you feel more than ever that the learning is about YOU, YOUR PROGRAM, and YOUR personal professional goals as an immersion educator while remaining 100% focused on the success indicators that are upheld in high-quality programs.

We’re on our own learning journey as an organization, and as a result, we’ve explored new ways to conduct training. Each session will have a “triple-track agenda”, through which you’ll be able to see the what, why, and how of each theme or topic. The whole point is that, while we’re focusing on the cornerstone topics of dual language immersion practice, you’ll get to take home a whole host of (pretty awesome!) strategies that could be implemented on day one in classrooms.

Let’s face it, there are some pretty cool additional perks of the add.a.lingua educator summit 2016:

  • The announcement of the add.a.lingua academic advisory board
  • 23.5 Michigan SCECH credits up for grabs for only $15.00
  • Two days of catered-in lunch and two days of “West Coast Cash” for you to take off the summit site for a lunch of your choice in downtown Holland
  • Prizes and more!

Ultimately, like the schools we serve, we’re learning, changing, and growing. We’re excited to share in the learning with you. Our add.a.lingua co-founder, Stacey Vanden Bosch, says it best in reference to the amazing teachers who serve students each and every day in dual language immersion programs:

“A true immersion educator is like a unicorn – a bit of a legend and very difficult to find. If you are here at educator summit…you are a unicorn.”

We can’t wait to welcome you to educator summit 2016!

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