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#MyFives: 5 Ways I learned in 2018

December 28, 2018

You know who I followed in 2018, you've checked out my recommended blog, it's time for #MyFives Day 3: Ways I learned in 2018.

Remember to share your #MyFives Ways you learned in 2018 on whatever platform you use to connect with teachers (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.). Follow #MyFives #langchat to round out the year with fresh inspiration!

Shout out to #teachersofinstagram - Wrap up #2018 with some #reflections. Share your list each day with #MyFives #langchat

Top 5 Ways I learned in 2018

I may be a full time stay at home mom (and part time language teacher!), but that doesn't stop be from pursuing professional development like it were the last glass of milk on the planet. Mmmm..I love milk.

How did you learn and grow as a professional in 2018? Share your #MyFives #langchat to inspire other teachers in the coming year!

Here are the Top 5 ways that I learned in 2018:

I learned at conferences.

My travel is limited by childcare, so I try to be judicious about which conferences I attend. This year, I was at OFLA, iFLT, NTPRS, Express Fluency, and ACTFL. I also attended Comprehensible Online, which was the easiest because NO TRAVEL REQUIRED! (Click here for info about this year's conference).

My standout conference experience was Coaching for Coaches at iFLT. Teri Wiechart and Michelle Kindt led the full-day workshop, and I left feeling well equipped to support new teachers as they dip their toes into the waters of CI. I also felt challenged personally as I got up in front of a group of my peers to try something new. I am looking forward to returning to iFLT in St. Petersburg, FL this July to continue growing as a coach. I hope you'll join me (AND PAUL SANDROCK! PAUL SANDROCK IS COMING TO IFLT! PAUL SANDROCK! PAUL SANDROCK! AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! I can't wait!).

What conferences do you plan to attend in 2019?

I learned from correction.

It doesn't feel good to screw up. In fact, it really sucks. It's even worse when you do it publicly. And when someone calls you out on something you've done wrong, sucks. But if you allow it to, you can transform that weight of doom into strength that propels you forward.

I got a lot of correction this year.

I got lots of emails letting me know about linguistic mistakes in my materials.

I got emails from parents and administrators and teachers questioning the appropriateness of some of my materials.

I got called out for racial bias in a blog post.

My choices for what and whose resources to blog about were called into question.

I was asked to reconsider whether I am using and crediting content created by other people appropriately.

How I learn from correction

Some things are easy. I appreciate receiving corrections about errors in my materials! I prioritize error corrections (language mistakes get fixed first, typos in instructions get fixed when I have time).

Some things are not easy.

If I'm being honest, first I either melt into the floor with the weight of humiliation and shame or I throw a temper tantrum, usually to my husband.

Then, I take a deep breath.

And another.

And another.

I close my computer, put down my phone, and wait for a time that I can clear my head. Ideally, I wait until I can get outside, preferably on a run.

"Is this correction valid?" "Am I in the wrong?" "Is my heart in the wrong place or was this a problem with communication?" "Do I need to take action?"

I believe that it is important to consider every correction we receive– not to own every correction, but to consider it.

This year, I wrote a lot of apologies. I changed a lot of materials. I deleted a lot of posts. I consulted a lot of friends and colleagues and asked them to consider the correction with me. I identified areas that I needed to learn and grow more, and I followed up.

This year, I learned from correction. So, thank you! And keep the correction coming!

What advice do you have for someone looking to respond better to correction?

I learned through collaboration.

I collaborated on blog posts with my friends. I collaborated on French units. I collaborated in my iFLT conference cohort. I reviewed materials and brainstormed ideas with friends and colleagues. I worked with an experienced dev firm to create Garbanzo!

My collaborators asked questions that I didn't think of and that I didn't always know the answers to. They shared information that I didn't know. They offered points of view that I hadn't considered.

Two are better than one, and working closely with another person or persons is a sometimes messy, sometimes crazy, always profitable learning experience.

What plans do you have for collaborating in 2019?

I learned by reading.

"They say" that people nowadays prefer to learn by watching videos. My husband's go-to place to find answers is YouTube. But me? Maybe I'm an old soul, but reading is still my preferred way to take in new information.

In 2018, I read blog posts, I read books for teachers, I read books for students, I read books for humans, I read facebook posts, I read tweets, I read lessons, I read, read, read, read, read. If it's about language teaching, I read it!

What did you read and recommend in 2018, and what is on your reading list for 2019?

I learned through sharing.

Sharing what I do and the ideas that I have with other teachers is one of my favorite ways to learn. Sharing an idea gives it another set of eyes and another brain and another's experience. Sharing sometimes leads to collaboration, and sometimes it leads to private reflection.

I love being asked questions at workshops that I hadn't previously considered. I love seeing what other teachers are doing and how they are adapting resources I've created.

How do you plan to share your experience in 2019?

Share your #MyFives

And speaking of's your turn! What are the Top 5 ways that you learned in 2018?

Share your list with #MyFives #langchat so that other teachers can find it!

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