Teachers are not the best-paid professionals in the United States, but some of the perks can sure make a difference in our attitudes. I feel like my school district is getting a lot right.
I’m glad to say that our administrators back off and allow us to do our jobs. Our school is also great when it comes to investing in staff. I’m talking about professional development. I feel that my school excels in investing in its teachers because there are no hard limits placed on PD days; we can make a case for an important conference just about any time. That matters a lot to me and my colleagues. I make an effort not to overuse professional development days. That being said, I also do not hesitate to mention opportunities featuring skilled teachers/speakers that I need to attend to improve my own skills.
I’m fortunate to be able to hone my skills and learn from masters. When a school district invests in its teachers, students reap the rewards.
Before I begin, let me tell you that I wanted to call this blog post “My Brain is Full,” but I felt that was too long, and I like alliteration, so I went with the current title.
If you teach (especially foreign language), you probably already know which Martina—Martina Bex. I have spent considerable time exploring her blog https://martinabex.com/ otherwise known as The Comprehensible Classroom. She discusses the advantages of using CI (Comprehensible Input) when teaching. After all, if the students have no understanding of what the teacher is saying, why bother?
Martina spent two brain-filling days with over 100 educators from Nebraska and surrounding areas. (One teacher drove from Arkansas to take this training!) The part that really blew me away was that we teachers didn’t have to pay to attend! That never happens! This time, however, it sure did, thanks to the hard work of Dr. Janine Theiler of the Nebraska Department of Education. She had support people like Jessica and Jami who saved my bacon when I thought I was lost. They made sure everything went smoothly so we teachers could learn and improve our practice in the classroom.
I was thrilled to get a copy of Martina’s presentation in addition to the handouts provided. I will use them to create plans of my own as I work toward CI in my own classes. Now I have the framework necessary to push students toward proficiency!
It was a pleasure to meet Martina. She’s very approachable and thoughtfully replies to questions. I took the picture below on a break from the session on the second day. I asked Martina, “What makes you happy?” Her response: “My children!”
For more information about Comprehensible Input, the research behind it and strategies for implementation, please visit https://martinabex.com/.