“The key to building our PLC (professional learning communities) wasn’t presentations, but a thousand conversations — one at a time.”
-as recorded in Starting a Movement, by Kenneth C. Williams and Tom Hierck
This resonates with us. Deeply. Profoundly. For a few reasons…
Professional learning centered around common experiences in dual language immersion education is incredibly valuable. You’re involved in the implementation of add.a.lingua tools and resources, and you are weaving them into your classroom instruction in a way that meets the needs of your students. Bluntly put, you’re working HARD! Joining colleagues from around the nation at the add.a.lingua educator summit is a way to be part of a professional learning network that supports and encourages the work your PLC’s are doing.
Prioritizing and honoring the experience that classroom teachers bring to the conversation is paramount. We’ve transitioned to an educator summit because we view it as such. It’s a transition reflective of our stance as a learning organization. Sure, we’re providing training on our resources. That’s what we do. But we know that in order to build a deeply rooted commitment to the success indicators, we need time for a thousand conversations–one at a time. That’s precisely why we’ve embedded time for deepening conversations over the course of each yearly pd cycle.
Cultivating conversations more than presentations should be the aim of good facilitator teams. You’ll notice that the schedule has been streamlined. That’s because (again, to quote Ken Williams), “What we focus on grows”. The cultivation of knowledge and common understanding through dialogue and discussion, modeling and inquiring are the best ways to go. Here are some cool things you’ll want to know about this year’s educator summit as you plan to attend:
- Sessions are built upon the add.a.lingua quality quadrants:
- dual language immersion model
- progress monitoring system
- immersion language development
- biliteracy & counterbalanced instruction
- Within each of the quadrants there are four success indicators. We’ll be dedicating a lot of time and conversation to the exploration of what those indicators look like, sound like, and feel like when implemented.
- Each session (bolded on the schedule) is designed for collaborative dialogue with colleagues in your respective context (preschool, primary, secondary) and within your add.a.lingua pd level (pd1, pd2, or pd3).
- The schedule we’ve shared is purposefully general. Whenever you see a bold theme, know that there are locations designated for each specific pd level to engage in learning around it.
- Knowing that educators often want time to reflect on their learning with their whole staff at the summit, we’ve built some of that in within the school guided dialogue on day two. Others want to have the opportunity to explore topics of high interest to them, and as a result, we’ve crafted the add.an.unconference.
- Preschool teachers participate in the educator summit for July 25 and 26 only. On the 25th, time will be spent in exploration of the dual language immersion model and immersion language development. Then, on the 26th, the whole day will be focused on implementation of the add.a.lingua preschool frameworks.
We know that a shift from two days to four is big. We know that the shift from August to late July is equally large. We also know (based on feedback and our own experience) that providing more and earlier processing time will bring about more valuable conversation than ever before. We can’t wait to welcome you to the 2016 add.a.lingua educator summit!