The first Central Jersey Spanish Teachers Cohort was held during the month of February in Brick.
In order to accommodate the large number of interested teachers, two sessions were held. The main item on the agenda was the discussion and comparison of each district’s approach to the various frameworks for teaching, namely Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching, and Dr. Robert Marzano’s Instructional Strategies.
The educators shared their experiences in trying to adapt the frameworks for teaching to their respective district’s mandated curriculum. They also discussed how their school districts introduced and administered their respective framework’s features.
The discussions brought to light that some districts had not taken the precaution to align, adapt and/or coordinate existing World Language curriculum. The professional development in World Language education appears to be lacking in most school districts. World Language teachers are therefore assessed and graded on the basis of an educational/assessment tool for which they have not been properly trained.
During the sessions, the educators concentrated their efforts in sharing information and brainstorming ideas, resources, and strategies to address the curriculum alignment issues.
A survey revealed that one school district had provided adequate professional development to their World Language educators. Another school district took a very unique approach, by granting their Spanish teachers the freedom to align their own curriculum. These administrators allowed their teachers to explore new possibilities while offering their staff support and recognition for their efforts.
The Spanish Teachers Cohort has been instituted to collaborate and share teacher’s experiences. The cohort’s aim is to try to fill in the gaps between existing World Language curriculum and administrational expectations in language education and to measure, explore, and find adequate solutions.
Teachers were grateful to have had this opportunity to collaborate. There was a sense of renewed hope to continue working as a team for the benefit of the students. Special thanks to Ocean County Teacher of the year, Mrs. Bucco and to all the educators from Freehold, Lakewood, Howell, Brick, Toms River, Barnegat, Long Branch, Neptune, Bayville, and Manchester for their contributions.
For more information please contact Gissela Malgeri or Wilma Saunders B.Ed. MPA at email@example.com or Gmalgeri00@gmail.com.