Hello and happy holidays! Since this is my first blog entry, I’d like to introduce myself to all of you. My name is Collette Richmond, and I am the newest member of the RBERN family. I’m very excited to be starting this new adventure in my career! I love the fact that I can teach AND learn! As a new Resource Specialist, I have been taking advantage of all of the professional development opportunities that are available to me, so I have become quite the traveler!
Recently, I attended the NYS TESOL (New York State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) 44th Annual Conference at the Albany Hilton. I hadn’t attended one in about 7 years, so it was nice to be among teachers who share my love of teaching and language learning. I attended some fascinating presentations, including one by our very own, Sally Doran, who presented her ESOL teacher assessment/development tool. I also attended a session presented by Molloy College Professors/authors Maria Dove and Andrea Honigsfeld, and it was very cool to meet them in person! I tried to gear my session choices toward English Language Learners meeting the demands of Common Core, since I am working on a presentation in that area, so some of the topics included: college and career readiness, academic language/vocabulary, and flipped classroom literacy lessons.
I think what I found most interesting was the flipped classroom presentation. I had only known of its use in content area classrooms such as math, science, or social studies, but never as a tool for literacy, and there are hundreds of pre-made videos for students to watch, so it’s not always necessary to make them (but from what I understand, it is easy to do). Some advantages of a flipped classroom are that students can watch and complete assignments at their own pace at home or in the computer lab at school and front load vocabulary and background information, which leaves more time in the classroom for problem-based and academic language learning. Also, students are motivated to complete their assignments in anticipation for being able to participate in class, especially if they are able to watch the videos on their phones!
Here is the link to the Prezi if you’d like to check it out (which I am using with permission).
In addition, not only were there “poster sessions,” where there were several presentations in one room at the same time, there were also plenary speakers at the beginning of each conference day. The first day, Angelica Infante-Green, Associate Commissioner for New York State Bilingual Education and Foreign Language Studies, spoke about the newly adopted CR Part 154 regulations and answered many questions. On the second day, Connie Perdreau, Director of the Haggerty English Language Program at SUNY New Paltz, shared some inspirational words for teachers.
It was a great experience to attend this conference and other trainings over the past several weeks, but I am glad that I will have time to spend with my family and friends this week, and I hope that you all will do the same.
Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!