Collaboration, collaborazione, Zusammenarbeit, collaboration, kolaboracja: to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor (Webster). Regardless of the language of choice, the theme of collaboration has been the main focus of the COLT Community and Business outreach team. Throughout the 20-21 school year we were thrilled to partner with Southern Connecticut State University and the Connecticut Italian Teachers Association to offer an internship opportunity for a world language graduate student. Leah Nocella is currently majoring in Italian and joined CITA as the first student webmaster. Leah attended all CITA meetings and became an active member of the executive council. Leah was responsible for website design and other supportive roles within CITA such as fundraising, co-coordinating events, promotion of scholarship opportunities and more. Leah was required to complete 135 contact hours over the course of the spring semester- she was so involved she devoted more than 200 hours of her time to education and language promotion . She completed a summative report at the end of the internship, describing in detail the activities performed throughout the semester as well as an end-of-the-semester colloquium with the faculty advisor and internship supervisor. This partnership was so successful that the executive board has asked Leah to extend her internship into the upcoming school year. Please check out Leah’s capstone project here https://www.ctitalianteachers.com/ . [Read more…]
Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica Induction at Academy of Information Technology & Engineering
Across the nation, high schools induct students to their various honor societies. The Academy of Information Technology and Engineering (AITE) is proud to have five honor society chapters, with one of them being the Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica (The Spanish Honor Society). The SHH is coordinated by Mrs. Raquel Hernandez Bonessi who founded this honor society six years ago. Being one of the largest honor societies at AITE, the SHH is composed of passionate Spanish learners who plan to utilize the Spanish skills which they have attained in their future. [Read more…]
Another Successful Year for Mentoring Program
Over the past several years, CT COLT has held an outstanding program for new teachers. I have been fortunate to have participated in CT COLT’s New Teacher Mentoring Program since its inception. This year was customarily top-notch, in spite of the unique challenges posed by the pandemic. I am pleased to say that President-Elect Rebecca Aubrey and Joseph Parodi-Brown, Ph.D. did a great job of building upon the groundwork that had been laid by President Amanda Robustelli-Price and CT COLT’s Teacher of the Year, Gina Gallo in their leadership to expand the impact of this noteworthy program. [Read more…]
2021 Summer Proficiency Institute featuring Greg Duncan: Creating Performance Based Assessments to Support My Curriculum
The 2021 Summer Proficiency Institute was hosted by CT COLT on June 23 – 25 via Zoom. This was the fifth Summer Proficiency Institute and the fourth in the series with Greg Duncan. CT COLT is proud to be able to maintain the Summer Proficiency Institute in the same collaborative spirit that keeps participants returning for many years. The conference was a great success with over 80 educators from around the globe participating in the three day conference. We can thank a year of pandemic teaching and learning for the ability to offer an updated and more engaging format via Zoom. [Read more…]
EdCamp CT COLT 2021
Since its inception in 2016, Edcamp CT COLT (formerly LangCampCT) has been a wonderful way for language teachers in CT to connect in an informal and supportive “unconference” setting. It is one of my favorite language teaching events because the main goal is for language teachers to engage thoughtfully in conversations with other language teachers. [Read more…]
Student Awards for Excellence 2021
Each year CT COLT invites world language teachers to nominate up to 5 students to be recognized for their excellence and achievements. Students are selected based on their high achieving grades, their enthusiasm and commitment to the language they are studying and their positive attitude toward languages and cultures. All the nominees are awarded a special certificate, and a letter of recognition is sent to their principal and superintendent. Students in Level IV and higher also receive a beautifully engraved ballpoint pen that reads, “CT COLT Award for Excellence in Languages.” Additionally, all students have their names published on the CT COLT website and here in our newsletter. [Read more…]
Rhyme on! CELEBRATE ON!!
Pivot and then pivot again has been the mantra this past school year. It was no different for the CT COLT Rhyme Celebration. Connecticut elementary students went virtual and submitted rhymes and poems in their world language of study. They were not able to go on stage and show off their language skills in front of their families as is the tradition at the annual Rhyme Celebration. Yet, they did what had not been done before not entirely knowing how the “Virtual Rhyme Celebration 2021” video was going to turn out in the end. The video ended up better than expected. We found a nugget or two that we will keep for next year’s back to in person Rhyme Celebration. Above all else the kids were able to rhyme on! [Read more…]
You CAN Teach an Old Dog New Tricks!
I am certain that all of us have been challenged by technology and teaching in a vastly new way this year. As a veteran Spanish teacher with a huge teacher tool kit, I along with everyone else jumped into a teaching situation in which we had to reinvent almost every activity and attack the online challenge with creativity. Prior to the pandemic, I employed a myriad of ways to connect with students. However, these techniques mostly functioned with in person classes. When I was thrust into the new model of distance learning, I found it almost impossible to build individual relationships with all of the barriers both literal and figurative. How does one build a rapport with students without all of the side conversations we are accustomed to having? With a mammoth effort and lots of collaboration with my colleagues we discovered new ways to function. Using an altered lens we carved out vastly different expectations of ourselves and our students. We pulled up our bootstraps to navigate Zoom, Nearpod, Edpuzzle, Kahoot, Quizlet, Blooket and hundreds of other methods to engage language learners. Using new platforms in hybrid classrooms proved overwhelming for even the most tech savvy. But wait, there’s more. This year has taught me significantly different lessons than the last 26 in this profession, and now as I reflect on the past 18 months, I have a new perspective and a few added tricks in my teacher toolbox to share. [Read more…]
It takes a village…and oh what a group we have!
In school, out of school, hybrid learning, rotating schedules, quarantining and close contacts- Oh my! As we finish up one of the most trying school years in recent history I have spent a great deal reflecting on the 20-21 school year. This academic year brought a myriad of emotions, struggles and joys. As I look back on one of the most historic years in recent history I am reminded time and again of the importance of a learning community. As the outgoing CT COLT Language Teacher of the Year, I would like to take this opportunity to showcase the many joys that have come from this year’s struggles. Over the past year I was given the privilege to represent COLT at various conferences, virtual meetings and events. I have found this experience to be both professionally rewarding as well as personally gratifying. The one thing I have come to realize is the idea that language teaching, leading and advocacy take a village. This job is not an individual experience but rather a team endeavor built on collaboration, trust and support. Here are a few of my takeaways as your Coronavirus Teacher of the Year… [Read more…]
Making Connection a Priority: Musings on Virtual Events
When I joined the Comité Exécutif of the CT chapter of AATF, it was brought to my attention that all members were expected to facilitate an event. I could not have been more thrilled, as this task rang true with the little girl inside who once dreamed of being a wedding planner. In all seriousness, I love to plan things, and so I immediately began brainstorming ideas. Couple this with my involvement with CT COLT and chairing their annual poster contest, and this girl was in project heaven… then the pandemic hit. As the reality of black Zoom boxes and constant mask wearing and cyber-communication-only settled in, so did the pervasive feeling of isolation. [Read more…]