Welcome to the NYSAFLT’s 103rd year! While 2020 is not the start of a new decade, as my students want to believe, it is a year for continued exciting changes. Thanks to Candace Black, NYSAFLT Past President and Associate in Instructional Services at NYSED – Office of Bilingual Education & World Language, and the input of many NYSAFLT and language educators, NYSED has drafted revised standards. This was the first step in the process to get them adopted and while the timeline has been adjusted, we are on track for having revised world language standards by the end of the year.
I have been a member of NYSAFLT for almost 40 (yes, I am old) years. Somewhere in the middle of my career, I was told I would be a good fit for middle school and that is what I would be teaching in September. (That principal was gone shortly after dropping that news.) I was very anxious about changing levels. At the time I was afraid of the change and possible failure. Someone recommended a book entitled, “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson, M.D. After reading it, I began to search for “new cheese”. NYSAFLT was, and is, my go to resource. I attended conferences and networked with so many generous presenters and colleagues. I first heard about comprehensible input at a session I attended the last year the Annual Conference was at the Nevele Resort. Without the forward thinking and support of NYSAFLT, I would not still be in the classroom. So, as the revised standards become a reality, NYSAFLT is here to support you on your journey of adjusting curriculum and finding cultural resources as you work to connect your students through languages and culture.
In 2019 NYSAFLT adopted our Strategic Plan 2019–2023. Our organization will focus on three strategic priorities:
- addressing teacher recruitment and retention,
- building our members’ capacity for leadership and
- strengthening our community connections through our advocacy efforts
With these priorities in mind, I encourage you to apply for scholarships, nominate a colleague for an award, submit a proposal for Annual Conference (deadline March 6, 2020) or a regional conference. We continue to support our Leaders of Tomorrow (deadline March 13, 2020) program to build our leadership capacity. We have updated the advocacy page on the website. Of course, all this information and more is available here at NYSAFLT.org. Visit often!
If you don’t know where to begin, email me!
I wish everyone a prosperous and healthy New Year.