Teachers use new tools

Michele Barnum , News Writer

Each year there are advancements made in the classroom. Mr. Alexis Avila, Mrs. Jaclyn Richmond, and Ms. Vicki Hoffman, Spanish teachers at Xavier High School, recently learned about some advancements to use in foreign language classrooms. These advancements were presented at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Conference in New Orleans.

Mrs. Jaclyn Richmond, Ms. Vicki Hoffmann and Mr. Alexis Avila pose for a selfie while attending a conference in New Orleans. Mr. Avila Photo.

These three teachers attended the conference on November 16 through November 18. There were over 300 informational sessions available, ranging from curricular development to adopting the seal of biliteracy in Iowa.

“The learning at this conference was invaluable,” Richmond said. “From how to improve curriculum and instruction to having an open network of other teachers and experts who are the best at what we do, I brought back so many new ideas. Being surrounded by 7,000 other people from around the world who share the same passion for teaching language as we do is a powerful thing. It pushes you to be better, it keeps you innovative, and reminds you why you were called to teach in the first place.”

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Conference also gave these teachers the opportunity to sit in on panels to hear other teachers’ views and opinions on the techniques they used in their classrooms. The XHS Spanish teachers discovered that the standards in foreign language classrooms have changed, prompting them to attend this conference.

Mr. Avila plans to start using the tools and new ideas second semester, after he sorts through his notes.

“I learned about apps I never heard of like ‘lingt’ and ‘Marco Polo’ which will get students to do some interpersonal speaking,” Avila said. “I learned how to simplify my rubrics to make them easier for my students to understand, and that assessing students on what we learn doesn’t always have to be paper.”

This conference proved inspirational to  Xavier’s Spanish teachers.  The teachers are ready to make advancements in their foreign language classrooms and help their students succeed in new ways.