President’s Message

Sending you best wishes for NYSAFLT 2021! Looking back at 2020, there is much we would like to forget, as our world was enmeshed in a global pandemic, as well as political, racial and economic turmoil. However, there is much that we will remember about ourselves and our students. We learned how to pivot from teaching in person to teaching online, and from using authentic cultural objects in the classroom to exploring new interactive resources online. Our students pivoted from collaborating in person to brainstorming in breakout rooms on Zoom. Through it all there resonated a resilience and a determination on both teachers’ and students’ parts to develop multilingual and multicultural proficiencies.

And in 2020 NYSAFLT also pivoted! Leslie Kudlack served as NYSAFLT’s first Virtual President, current President-Elect Jenny Delfini served as NYSAFLT’s first Virtual Summer Institute Chair, and I had the privilege of chairing NYSAFLT’s first Virtual Annual Conference. The success of these events has paved the way for First Vice President Marissa Coulehan and Second Vice president Francoise Piron, who are organizing the first NYSA-Fair in March 2021, a one day virtual conference! Marissa also serves as Virtual Summer Institute Chair in July 2021.

Bringing quality professional development to our members is all teamwork. I am grateful to my colleagues on the Executive Committee for their guidance and support, including Secretary-Treasurer Valerie Greer, who has become NYSAFLT’s unofficial virtual background designer and of course, NYSAFLT’s Executive Director John Carlino, who makes all the magic happen on a daily basis and is an unending resource for everything NYSAFLT!

So what resolutions can you make for 2021 as a NYSAFLT member?

Here’s my suggested top 10 list for your consideration:

  • 10. Renew your NYSAFLT membership TODAY. And while you are at it, give the gift of membership to a colleague in your department. It is cost-effective, and promotes collaboration.
  • 9. Check out NYSAFLT’s Webinars. NYSAFLT offers quality one hour webinars throughout the year, all for CTLE credit. They are free for members and convenient to attend.
  • 8. Nominate a colleague or a student for a NYSAFLT award. Did you know that NYSAFLT offers awards for educators and students alike? It is a great way to promote your program, your colleagues and your students.
  • 7. Attend NYSA-Fair in March. It’s a great way to network and learn from the comfort of your home.
  • 6. Attend NYSAFLT Virtual SI this summer. You can get ready for the new 2021/22 academic year with workshops on a variety of relevant topics, including the revised NYS world language standards. And it’s online, so no need to interrupt your summer plans.
  • 5. Attend NYSAFLT Annual Conference this fall. This year’s event will be hybrid, offering in person sessions in Syracuse, as well as online participation.
  • 4. Consider presenting at a NYSAFLT event. We are always looking for people with passion, creativity and energy to present!
  • 3. Be an advocate for world language in your school and throughout the state. Stay up to date through the NYSAFLT Advocacy Center. Marie Campanaro and Barb Patterson, our advocacy co-chairs, are tirelessly working to promote the importance of world languages state wide.
  • 2. Become familiar with the revised world language standards. NYSAFLT former president Candace Black of OBEWL-NYSED has spearheaded regional groups of administrators and educators, who have helped develop updated standards, scheduled to be brought to the Regents in 2021. NYSAFLT will continue to offer quality professional development for you and your department to adapt your curriculum accordingly.
  • 1. Be the BEST educator you can be with NYSAFLT’s help. Get the most out of your membership and explore (at least a few of) these options! 2021 is the year we take what we learned from 2020 and move forward to make change happen positively for ourselves, our students and our communities.

I am excited and honored to serve as your president this year and look forward to more NYSAdventures with you in 2021 – hybrid, online and in person!!

Sally Barnes

Beth Slocum