MFLA was well-represented at ACTFL’s Assembly of Delegates, an invitation-only summit of ACTFL’s Organizational Members. This one-of-a-kind gathering brings together representatives from state, regional, and national language organizations as well as other leaders including ACTFL’s Board of Directors, ACTFL Past Presidents, and chairs of ACTFL Special Interest Groups. All come together to contribute to this collaborative opportunity to learn about and strategize solutions for issues that matter to us, our organization, language educators, and learners.
Jeff reported that the Assembly of Delegates meeting pulled together a highly diverse collection of World Languages educators and professionals: diverse in terms of geography, levels taught, languages, and roles within the profession. Conversations about critical issues and practices followed an interactive format, so that once a given topic was presented in context (e.g., high attrition among World Languages teachers), discussion time at our round tables proved highly beneficial. Action steps appeared on shared websites or documents, so that each of us could see what others in the large room were thinking and how they planned to proceed. Ideas took on a seedling-like life, sprouting up and finding hopefully fertile ground in concrete action steps that the representatives of each organization promised to bring back to their leadership. Jeff reflected that:
For us, I hope that we in MFLA will begin to look at how we advocate for the profession and for our members’ professional development. It is critical that MFLA serve as a conduit for policies, national trend awareness, best practices, and safeguarding the quality and composition of the membership in our professions. I believe the Assembly of Delegates meeting positions us to improve our efforts in this area. and to align them to other states’ and ACTFL’s own.
And Claudia summed it up as follows:
Call it mirror-neurons, call it synergy, call it positive-peer-pressure, whatever you want to call it, it is enriching to hear and share ideas; to collaboratively find creative solutions to common issues, and to enjoy inspiring presentations among committed World Language educators, leaders, and fellow-life-long-learners!
Also, in attendance were members of NADSFL and NCSSFL, including the following MFLA members: Debbie Espitia (Howard County), María Flores (Prince George’s County), Leslie Grahn (Howard County), Katrina Griffin (Anne Arundel County), Jodie Grosser (Baltimore County), Bonnie Pechulis (MSDE), Amy Pritchett (Carroll County), Kim Shinozaki (Baltimore County), and Susan Spinnato (MSDE) plus colleagues from GWATFL, Jane Hess and Carmen Henninger (Prince George’s County).
Feature photo from @ACTFL on Twitter