09 June, 2012

Transparency


To celebrate Brooklyn/Queens day in traditional educator fashion, I spent my day at a Professional Development. For the first time since I’ve worked at my school, they decided everyone should attend a content-related PD. Fabulous! I’ll get to explore some things I haven’t looked at since completing my MAT. 

Or not. My supervisor let me know that I (along with the music and drama teachers) would attend PD with the ELA department. We would, of course, be looking at the CCLS.

Nursing a post-prom iced coffee on my way into school I found our guest presenter in the office and started talking to her as she set up in my classroom (freshly cleaned in honor of her visit). When I told her that I teach foreign language she politely informed me that she had no idea how this presentation about CCLS literacy standards might apply to my curriculum.

Finally, a refreshingly honest presenter. Once she admitted that this would be new for both of us I felt much more willing to participate in the discussion and challenge myself to relate the “staircase of complexity” to my own work. Part of the difficulty of being the lone foreign language teacher at my school has been learning to fend for myself in planning, learning, advocating and justifying everything that I do. It might not be the most riveting PD I’ve ever been to, but because my role was acknowledged I felt more interested. Do I do this for my students? Do I let each one know what their path in Spanish class might be? Do they know what I know about where our lessons are going? Should they know or would I be reprimanded for telling a student that I had no idea how our lesson might relate to their learning?