01052016 Tea with Teachers by US Department of Education, on Flickr
"01052016 Tea with Teachers" (CC BY 2.0) by  US Department of Education 

 
Welcome back to #langchat! Last week, participants discussed conflict resolution and collaboration in world language departments. They reflected on what language instructors need and need not agree on, and also weighed in on how to meet common goals and collaborate when colleagues have different methods and philosophies. Langchatters considered how to influence fellow instructors to consider new methods and paradigms. Finally, they proposed ways to manage conflict when (or if) it arises! Participants arrived eager to contribute to a conversation about keeping the peace, and contribute they did! @SECottrell wrote, “I can’t even think fast enough for this #langchat much less type!”

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us last week! We would also like to thank our moderators for the Thursday chat, Amy (@alenord), Colleen (@CoLeeSensei), Kris (@KrisClimer), Sara-Elizabeth (@SECotrrell), and Laura (@SraSpanglish), as well as our Saturday sequel moderators, John (@CadenaSensei) and Diego (@DiegoOjeda66).

Question 1: What must we agree on in our world language departments, and where do we need to allow for freedom?

Langchatters highlighted three necessary ingredients for a peaceful language department. They noted that instructors should agree on a common destination for students, a focus on language use, and a commitment to cultivate respectful relationships.

  • A common destination: @MlleSulewski wrote, “[Instructors need] to agree on the destination [for learners]. The route [to get there] should be up to the [teacher].” Similarly, @ksipes129 suggested, “Agree on what needs to be taught…[Give] freedom in how it is taught.”
  • A focus on USE: @SraSpanglish said, “I think we have to agree that the purpose of language class is to get kids to USE language,” adding, “I think disagreement is on what [students] need to be ABLE to use it.”
  • Respectful relationships: From the start of the hour, participants were acknowledging the importance of respect. As @ProfeCochran observed, “First and foremost we must agree to be respectful […] On the most basic level, we must agree that everyone (and I mean everyone) has an important skill to bring to the table.” @SraKennedy noted that criticizing colleagues is “counterproductive,” writing, “I’m a lot less likely to listen to [people who] I think are judging me harshly for what I do.”

Question 2: How do we meet common goals when our department doesn’t share common methods or philosophies?

Langchatters were all about acceptance of difference and finding common ground! As @kltharri pointed out, “[Nobody] should share common philosophies; there are too many. [The key] is connecting them somehow.” In the words of @KrisClimer, “Part of the answer is accepting differences; not all roads are the expressway, some HATE the expressway…” @MadameKurtz encouraged instructors to stop insisting that their way is the only right way: “[First] we have to stop saying ‘this is what I do’ or ‘this is how we’ve always done it.’” Similarly, @William_Caze suggested, “Leave ego at the door. These [conversations] are derailed immediately if someone thinks their way is the best [or] only way.” @CoLeeSensei added that peer observation can be a good way to get a conversation going: “It starts with a conversation, and it’s not a productive one if I’ve never seen you teach. In our [department], we observe each other.”

Question 3: How do we collaborate with teachers using other methods or philosophies?

Participants emphasized the role of kindness, respect, and a smile in fostering collaboration. They also observed that openly sharing with colleagues and inviting them to share their own lessons with you can help promote a supportive departmental atmosphere.

  • Kindness, respect, and a smile go a long way! @placido wrote, “Honestly, I’ve tried to focus on always being friendly rather than talking shop and it has improved collaboration from my view.” @ProfeCochran whole-heartedly agreed: “This is the only way to make ANY leeway when colleagues refuse to budge!” Others highlighted the need for respect. @silvius_toda said, “While you may disagree [with] colleagues, it’s imperative to realize they are professionals too [and] deserve respect.” @ShaneBraverman encouraged instructors to assume that their colleagues have the best of intentions: “If we assume positive intent (all [teachers] are here to help [students] learn and grow) maybe there will be fewer problems?” @MmeFarab added that a smile can always help.
  • Sharing is caring! Instructors recommended openly sharing resources and lessons as a way to begin a collaborative dialogue. @kltharri said, “I used to do mini [professional development exchanges] instead of [department] meetings and teachers presented their [favorite] activity. It opened doors to [conversations].” @alenord agreed that open exchanges can build positive relations: “Be willing to share freely and be unafraid to ask for [fellow instructors’] contributions. Sometimes our colleagues are intimidated by us.” @IndwellingLang added that colleagues can then choose to adapt shared activities to better fit their personal approach: “Share specific tasks [and] resources that colleagues might like to use [or] adapt in spite of general methodological differences.” In turn, @alenord encouraged participants to accept resources from others even if they could not envision using them: “Sometimes you have to be willing to take their sharing even if you don’t use it. At least accept the olive branch.”

Langchatters offered some final suggestions. @ProfeCochran noted, “Sometimes just focusing on the bigger picture can unite colleagues, [for example, by] promoting the program.” @placido added, “[Focus] on what you DO have in common and try to become friends if possible. [It’s hard] to be nasty to a friend.”

Question 4: How can we influence each other to consider new methods or paradigms?

Participants agreed that we shouldn’t push our own methods onto other instructors. Instead, they proposed ways to share approaches and encouraged inviting colleagues to come and see for themselves. Here are some of their tips to subtly influence:

  • Invite guests: @MlleSulewski wrote that we can influence others “[by] showing something that WORKS! – [especially] if it gets [students] excited.” She suggested, “Welcome other [teachers] into your classroom.” @axamcarnes does just that: “I invite [teachers to] see what my [students] are doing. I’ve won [two] over to push further into [proficiency. You can’t] argue [with] results when [your] see [students] speaking!”
  • Share, don’t tell: @placido wrote in favor of “[sharing] rather than telling :),” explaining, “[Sometimes] it is easier to catch flies with honey than with vinegar :).” @CoLeeSensei added that instructors should share their challenges as well their successes: “Share! Share your good, your bad [and] your ugly! We all are learning to be better teachers.” @MmeFarab agreed with this suggestion: “Share successes and commiserate mistakes! [We can’t] expect [colleagues] to believe our way is better [because] it’s perfect. It’s hard.”
  • Celebrate colleagues’ successes: @CoLeeSensei wrote, “I listen to their successes [and] appear as ‘human’ as they are [and] share mine too.” @IndwellingLang also encouraged this behavior: “Celebrate colleagues’ students’ genuine successes, even if you think they happened in spite of colleagues’ methods!”
  • Show your own willingness to change: @KrisClimer wrote, “My most recent approach is MY own willingness to change.” @alenord replied, “This is a really important point. Don’t just share what you are doing, but what you are learning, too!”

Question 5: How do we manage conflict when or if it arises?

Should conflict arise, Langchatters offered some tips to keep things under control. They reminded one another to acknowledge everyone’s contributions to the department, seek common ground, and prioritize collaboration despite differences.

  • Acknowledge everyone’s contributions: @ADiazMora said, “I think this goes back to knowing that everyone brings something to the table.” @kltharri reminded instructors not to pit themselves against colleagues: “[Try] not to think of it as ‘me versus them.’ [Reflect] on where [others] are coming from.”
  • Seek common ground: @c2westy suggested, “[Always] look for common ground and do what you can to build on it.” @maezinha73 advised instructors to keep common ground in mind throughout the year: “If you decide at the beginning of the year what things you DO agree on, you can always go back to those as frame of reference.”
  • Be understanding and put collaboration first: @CoLeeSensei prompted fellow Langchatters to “[listen]…respect…and understand that conflict comes from ‘not knowing…’ or ‘[being] scared to…’” @CarolGaab encouraged prioritizing collaboration despite differences in philosophy: “Collaborate [and] connect [students and teachers] between [classrooms] regardless of [teaching] philosophies.” She suggested taking part in video exchanges or messaging back and forth, adding that this is one of her students’ favorite activities!

Conclusion

Langchatters (peacefully) discussed conflict resolution in collaboration in the world language department. Participants considered what language instructors need and need not agree on, and they suggested ways to meet common goals and collaborate despite differing philosophies. Instructors also shared ways to influence fellow instructors to consider new methods and paradigms and proposed how to manage conflict when (or if) it arises! Many left the conversation feeling humbled and eager to promote dialogue. In reflecting on the conversation, @SraShawSpanish wrote, “More is won by going slowly than pushing too hard, validate [and] give everyone a voice.”

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to a peaceful and collaborative dialogue on conflict last week! In case last Thursday felt too fast, “[remember], if you want a more chill version of the [conversation] or came in late, we have Saturday Sequel [at 10 a.m. ET], too!” (@alenord).

Due to space limitations, many tweets had to be omitted from this summary. To view the entire conversation, you can access the full transcript on our tweet archive. “What do you want to #langchat about in 2016? (Perhaps to help with your EPIC plans?)” (@SraSpanglish). Send us your ideas for future #langchats!

2015-07_SC+_W4_Class_LL -135 by jencu, on Flickr
"2015-07_SC+_W4_Class_LL -135" (CC BY 2.0) by  jencu 

 
Last week, Langchatters got (inter)personal! Participants considered how proficiency level affects interpersonal task design. Next, acknowledging that learner output is based on perceived need to produce language, they reflected on how to build a feeling of need into task design. Langchatters then discussed their thoughts on ideal group size and make-up for interpersonal tasks. They also talked about design of quality interpersonal writing tasks. Instructors ended the hour by sharing interpersonal tasks that they have designed and implemented successfully.

Thanks to all who contributed to a strong interpersonal dynamic last week! We extend a big thanks to Laura (@SraSpanglish), Sara-Elizabeth (@SECottrell), and Kris (@KrisClimer) for moderating the Thursday evening chat, and to Colleen (@CoLeeSensei), “sipping coffee [and] leading [the Saturday morning Sequel] from west coast” (@SECottrell).

Question 1: How does proficiency level affect interpersonal task design?

In discussing the effect of proficiency level on task design, many participants commented on what novice-level students need. @LauraErinParker wrote, “[Proficiency] level determines expectations: [the] degree of memorized [or] parroted sentences.” @LisaShepard2 noted, “Novices need tasks they can complete with practiced language,” and @SraSpanglish agreed, writing, “For my baby parrots ([novice level]) [they have to] know pretty much every word that could [or] should come out of their mouths [and] scaffold in advance.” @SraSpanglish views the capacity to be more than a parrot as a sign that learners are “breaking out of novicehood.” @KrisClimer added, “At lower levels, I find [that teacher] involvement [is] more needed,” and @SraSpanglish replied, “I’m with you. If I don’t meddle, [students] script EVERYTHING.” @MCoachSalato pointed out that instructors can help learners become less teacher-dependent in interpersonal activities: “The more [conversational] continuations I teach (e.g., Moi Aussi [Me too], Moi Non Plus [Me neither], etc.), the less I have to be the conduit for all [of the conversation].” Some mentioned the benefit of prewriting exercises as preparation for interpersonal engagement. For example, @MmeBlouwolff said, “My novices do well with some prewriting on the topic, e.g. [using a] graphic organizer or table.” @MmeCarbonneau also mentioned prewriting: “I often do a writing piece too a day prior. [This allows] language to be more readily available in [students’] head [and] on [their] tongue.”

Question 2: How can our tasks make students feel the need to produce output?

Langchatters brainstormed ways to create a sense of urgency to engage in interpersonal activities. @SECottrell explained, “In other words, what in a task design says, ‘Yeah, you’re gonna need to do this, so let’s practice it!?’” @tmsaue1 commented that this “just might be one of the hardest questions facing [world language teachers] today.” Here are some of the suggestions for task design shared by participants:

  • Purposeful activities: @KrisClimer said, “[A task] must have PURPOSE, ideally more than ‘cause he said do it, or ‘cause it’s for a grade […] The more the accomplishment of [a] task gives [students] something they WANT [or] NEED, the better. So [what] do they WANT [or] NEED?” @K_Griffith agreed: “[Students] need to WANT to talk about it. If they’re not interested, they won’t talk.” @FrenchFunFacts added, “If students can relate topics to their own lives, I think they are more eager to talk about it.”
  • Student police: @senornoble wrote, “I sometimes design [a task] so that students police other students. :)”
  • Audience design: @SraSpanglish wrote, “[Generally] the conversations work better when building to something for a [target language] audience.” Also considering the role of audience, @LauraErinParker proposed: “Maybe connect via [Skype], etc. to another class to present novices with each other to do basic questions?”
  • Accountability: @LisaShepard2 pointed out: “A [follow-up presentational] task helps. [For example, after] speed-friending, [have students] write [a] note to [a] parent asking to spend the weekend with [a new friend] and [to] explain why [they want to].” Alternatively, @senornoble suggested instructors “[use a] device to record students for accountability.”

Question 3: What are your thoughts on group size and make-up for interpersonal tasks?

Participants reflected on the influence of group size and make-up on the quality of interpersonal activities. Here’s what they had to say!

  • Group Size: @LisaShepard2 felt that pair work was best for novice students: “I prefer [two per group] for novices, [with] more opportunities to speak.” @MmeBurgess agreed that group size “depends on level,” adding, “[Lower] levels tend to need smaller groups. Otherwise, not everyone talks AND [it’s] too easy to digress.” @KrisClimer commented, “Pairs maximize the activity per participant, but teams of three or four can provide some comfortable space, too.” @MCoachSalato said, “My classroom is set up in groups of [three students] with a ‘leader’ in each. This [student] makes sure all [students] speak and do so in [the target language. This makes it easier for] me.” Participants discussed positive and negative aspects of larger groups. @MmeBlouwolff wrote about large groups favorably: “I like [one third] of the class [grouped together] at a time so [seven or eight students interact] at once. [Students] practice turn-taking [and] can take a breather when they need to.” On the other hand, @FrenchFunFacts pointed out that “the affective filter can be high for larger groups, [so] it may be good to be flexible for student preference.” @LauraErinParker added that not all students are active in larger groups. @Narralakes proposed a differentiated approach with flexible groupings based on level and task.
  • Group Make-up: In discussing group composition, @tmsaue1 wrote, “[I] always struggle with this one (even when grouping adults). Do you pair high achievers together or mix levels?” @LisaShepard2 replied, “For practice I mix it up, but for assessment I like to match [proficiency] levels.” Many participants like to mix up groups frequently. @MmeBurgess said, “I like to mix groups up throughout the period. Groups AND topics change to keep it fresh.” To mix partners up, @SraSpanglish arranges her students “kind of like [a] wagon wheel, but [with] rotating partners in [two] lines.” Participants offered some resources to randomly generate groups. For example, @atbrowning said, “[For] practice, [I] love [the] online fruit machine name picker to pair [students. They] love it too.” @KrisClimer noted, “Also ClassDojo can randomly pick students,” and @senoraCMT said, “[The Team Shake application] for iPhone is GREAT too! So convenient!” @KrisClimer added that good old-fashioned notecards can also do the trick: “I still use a set of notecards (one per [student]) [that are color-coded] by class to create random teams/pairs/‘volunteers.’”

Question 4: How can we design quality interpersonal writing tasks?

Participants had similar suggestions for quality interpersonal writing tasks as they did for speaking tasks. We bring you their tips for making interpersonal writing meaningful!

  • Audience design: @LisaShepard2 suggested that instructors provide students with an audience. She added that this need not be ‘authentic’ but can simply consist of classmates. @senornoble recommended penpals as an option.
  • Purposeful activities: @KrisClimer spoke for many when he wrote, “[The same] standard [applies] in writing as in speaking, I think (i.e. [The] task must have LEGITIMATE purpose […] for [students]).” @MmeBurgess commented, “I always like to make writing tasks as real as possible. [For example, students could email someone] to ask for more [money] or explain an absence (…).” Speaking of real tasks, @MmeCarbonneau wrote, “[I just] did an interpersonal faux texting scenario with Google Docs. Students loved it!” @LauraErinParker commented, “My students love texting, so that is a realistic scenario for them.” @MmeBurgess added, “[I] also like the idea of class Twitter chats or Instagram posts [and] comments.” @SECottrell echoed the recommendation for Twitter: “[If] there’s a such thing as interpersonal writing, Twitter is it!” She also shared her “Tweetfest activity.” @senoraCMT replied, “We have no [technology] so here is our Twitter solution for interpersonal [mode].” As additional realistic activities, @atbrowning mentioned “online greeting cards, note passing, [or] excuses.”
  • Game format: Others suggested using a game-like format to engage students in interpersonal tasks. @senoraCMT said, “[I] love to have [students] do musical chairs writing.” As an example, she explained that this could mean having students ask a question as a character from a novel, move when the buzzer sounds, answer the question, move and ask a follow-up question. As another alternative, @KrisClimer said, “My [intermediates] do a group constructed writing (à la Telephone [telephone style]).”

Question 5: What interpersonal tasks have you successfully designed and implemented in your classroom?

For the final question, Langchatters shared some of their interpersonal successes! We invite you to test them out in your own classroom:

  • Comparisons with Venn diagrams: @LisaShepard2 proposed, “Discuss X (activities/family/eating habits/etc.) and make a Venn [diagram] comparing you and your partner.”
  • A trip to the market – without leaving the classroom: @senornoble shared his “[mercado] activity for Spanish 2 [students:] https://t.co/oszqKhdDJV.”
  • Eyewitness accounts: @SECottrell wrote, “[Playing] eyewitness to a news event made for [a] good interaction for us.” Details here!
  • Pop song discussions: @SraSpanglish said, “[Daily] pop song practice chats are going nicely, especially [with] emphasis on questions [and] PARTNER’s ideas.” More info here!
  • Interpersonal Blitz: @SraWienhold wrote, “I love @alenord’s interpersonal speaking blitz! [This entails a] timed PowerPoint with a new mini topic every minute.”
  • Linguacafé: @SECottrell said, “I must share (again) Linguacafé– the interpersonal idea from @maestranadine that rocked my world.”
  • Meow? Kitty Talk on Instagram: @ksipes129 said, “My kitten has an Instagram [account. Students answer or comment] in [the target language] for points.”

Conclusion

Langchatters discussed how to design tasks for quality interpersonal interactions. They considered the influence of proficiency level on interpersonal task design, thought up ways to encourage learner output, and shared their thoughts on ideal group size and make-up for interpersonal tasks. They also chatted about how to design quality interpersonal writing tasks. Lastly, Langchatters offered up some of their successful interpersonal tasks. Throughout, participants reminded one another that small changes to task design can lead to big student output!

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who kept interpersonal engagement high on #langchat last week! Don’t forget that you can get your #langchat on twice a week now– both Thursday at 8 p.m. ET AND Saturday morning at 10 a.m. ET!

Due to space limitations, many tweets had to be omitted from this summary. To view the entire conversation, you can access the full transcript on our tweet archive. Have an topic that you’re impatient to discuss?! Send us your ideas for future #langchats!

Tomás by jcmejia_acera, on Flickr
"Tomás" (CC BY-NC 2.0) by  jcmejia_acera 

 
Happy New Year from #langchat! Langchatters started off 2016 by discussing how they plan to be an EPIC language teacher this year. Participants shared the goals they ENVISION for 2016, reflected on how they will PLAN a route to each of those goals, talked about how they will IMPLEMENT a goal timeline, and proposed ways to COLLECT evidence of personal growth as world language teachers. Instructors were eager to ring in a new year of teaching and #langchat with a bang!

Thank you to all those who contributed to the first #langchat of the new year. We would also like to extend a big thank you to the moderators who led the Thursday chat — Laura (@SraSpanglish), Colleen (@CoLeeSensei), and Sara-Elizabeth (@SECottrell) — and the Saturday sequel — John (@CadenaSensei)!

Question 1: What goals do you ENVISION for 2016?

Langchatters have lots of goals for 2016! We bring you some of their teaching resolutions in no particular order:

  • Gradual refinement of the curriculum: @CoLeeSensei wrote, “My goal is to allow myself to make slow changes and really document what I do (for next time!) #neverremember.” @lovemysummer is also thinking about gradual modifications to the curriculum, “[focusing] on continually improving, but not overwhelming.”
  • More interpersonal speaking: @Marishawkins said, “I envision on focusing on assessing interpersonal speaking more.” @MmeCarbonneau also plans “to do MORE interpersonal and less presentational,” encouraging fellow instructors to “[give students] wings to SPEAK meaningfully.”
  • More purposeful planning: @SraSpanglish said, “I ENVISION more purposeful plans for this year. My #oneword resolution is REASON, so I’m aiming for good instructional choices.”
  • More student choice: @jlynnhambrick envisions “[giving] students more choice in their learning #studentcentered #teacherfaciliated.”
  • ‘Real’ lessons: @cadamsf1 said, “I envision lessons that connect to the real world and give students the power to communicate about real things in the real world.”
  • Quality over quantity: @WHS_French_ wrote, “[I’m] trying to remember that I don’t need to do all the things. Focus on QUALITY over quantity.”
  • Fewer colleague comparisons and less pressure: @WHS_French_ added, “[Another goal that I envision is] not comparing myself to colleagues with more years of experience! I put too much pressure on myself.”
  • More descriptors, fewer numbers: @CoLeeSensei envisions changes to her grade book. She wrote, “I ENVISION my new grade book with ‘descriptors’ – not numbers! […] I still have to submit a [number-based] grade for ‘report cards,’ but [I] figured out how to do both!” She plans to share a blog post shortly!
  • Guided goal-setting and reflection for students: @LisaShepard2 said, “I want to develop self-assessment strategies and goal-setting for my students.”

Question 2: How are you going to PLAN your route to your goal(s)?

Langchatters are determined to realize their goals. If you’re eager to plan a route to your own goals, they offered some steps to help you get there!

  • Let students hold you accountable: @jlynnhambrick said, “I lead a minute of mindfulness every morning over the loud speaker […] I just announced my idea to my [students and] now I can’t back out. They will hold me accountable. It’s what they want for their class.” @doriecp replied, “[Oh] man, I know that feeling! If I want to motivate myself to do something, I always tell my idea to my students.”
  • Backwards plan: Several instructors suggested planning backwards to move forward with a focus! @Marishawkins said, “I always think backwards planning is key- [I think about] where […] I want students to go and always remember that.” @ksampson4 agreed that “[backwards] planning is the gold standard!”
  • Write out a plan: Others suggested putting daily and long-term goals into writing to visualize them. @ProfeCochran said, “[One] of the new things I’m doing [to] streamline my teaching includes creating [slides for] every class, every day #scatterbrained!” @CoLeeSensei has turned to pen and paper for the same reason: “I’ve actually gone back to a paper daybook/planner so I can ‘see’ where I’m going.”

Question 3: How will you IMPLEMENT a timeline for your goal(s)?

Implementing a timeline may seem daunting, but Langchatters noted that it doesn’t need to be so intimidating. They offered advice to make implementation feel doable!

  • Surround yourself with like-minded instructors! @K_Griffith wrote, “It helps me to do this with other people. I’d recommend getting with like-minded teachers, if at all possible.” Similarly, @RLavrencic said, “Another idea I’m using is making a small cohort of like-minded teachers to pilot new curriculum [and] try out each other’s lessons.” @CoLeeSensei agreed that “[finding] those ‘like-minded’ [teachers] is key!,” adding, “I have [one] other in my school…a blessing!”
  • Break big goals down into manageable steps! Langchatters encouraged one another to follow the advice they give to students so often. @SraSpanglish said, “You must break down your own goals as you would break down students’ to help them.” @TELLproject suggested, “[Think] of short-medium-long timelines to build in growth moments (accountability) for yourself. [What] about a 30-60-90 [day] plan?” and shared a resource to help instructors reach their goals.
  • Keep revisiting the goals you set back in August! Participants acknowledged the importance of not losing sight of goals set in August. @bjillmoore said, “I set my goals at the beginning of the school year and keep checking and reviewing [them].” @Marishawkins echoed this comment, writing, “[In January] I just try to remember my goals from [August] and keep trying to do those.”

Question 4: How will you COLLECT evidence of your growth?

Langchatters recognized the importance of reflecting on personal growth as an instructor and collecting evidence of progress towards goals. They mentioned different forms of evidence, including the following:

  • Feedback from students: @CoLeeSensei wrote, “[For] me, [to collect evidence I] ask students to ‘tell’ me about their growth over the term…#amidoingmyjob.” @SraSpanglish pointed out the importance of asking for feedback from students even when we feel successful: “[I also do a] survey on [students’] feelings about activities I *thought* [I] rocked.” @CoLeeSensei replied, “Absolutely – we learn a lot when we ask them how it went for them [or] according to them!” @virgilalligator proposed one way to solicit student feedback: “[Have you] ever tried @dotstorming? [Students] can comment on each others’ ideas as you solicit feedback [and] you can ask them to vote!” @RLavrencic added that students can even help instructors envision future growth: “I usually show student sample projects [from a previous class] and ask [students] how they suggest to make it better. [This is a great] motivator.”
  • Feedback from colleagues: @SrtaJohnsonEBHS wrote, “I’m part of a learning group of teachers, and we observe each other once per quarter [and] videotape [one another]. So that’s neat.”
  • Blogging: To document her growth, @CoLeeSensei plans to write “more quick blog posts about [her] learning process #recordforme.”
  • Quantifiable goals: @K_Griffith noted that quantifiable goals make collecting evidence much easier: “That’s why our goals need to be quantifiable. I like goals like, ‘Write a positive email to a parent daily.’ I can do that.”

Finally, in what many were calling the tweet of the night, @bjillmoore cited student progress as ideal evidence: “If my goals are ultimately linked to my students learning and progress, they provide the evidence in their work and growth.”

Conclusion

As last week’s conversation made clear, #Langchat2016 is off to an EPIC start. Langchatters discussed how to be the best teacher they can be in 2016. Participants shared goals they ENVISION for the new year, reflected on PLANNING, talked about how to IMPLEMENT a goal timeline, and proposed ways to COLLECT evidence of personal growth as instructors. They also continued to express their gratitude for #langchat. As @MmeCarbonneau asserted, “To be an EPIC teacher, you need to be a part of #langchat.”

Thank You!

Thank you to all of the EPIC educators who joined us once or twice last week! Don’t forget that you can get your #langchat fill both Thursday at 8 p.m. ET AND Saturday morning at 10 a.m. ET!

Due to space limitations, many tweets had to be omitted from this summary. To view the entire conversation, you can access the full transcript on our tweet archive. “What do you want to #langchat about in 2016? (Perhaps to help with your EPIC plans?)” (@SraSpanglish). Send us your ideas for future #langchats!