The Administrator Gathering was held on February 23, 2011. Click here for details and a list of attendees.
Summary of the MAIN Administrator Gathering
A group of more than twenty immersion educators – program administrators, curriculum coordinators, district level directors, and U of M teacher educators - gathered on February 23 to network and discuss issues that are common to immersion programs. One goal of the meeting was to ensure that future opportunities for networking and action on our common objectives are scheduled. Please continue to monitor this site for announcements.
Professional development for immersion teachers was one topic that received a lot of attention. Program administrators agreed on the following suggestions:
Advocacy was another hot topic as participants thought of MAIN positioning itself as the voice of immersion in Minnesota. Here’s what MAIN could facilitate:
- Plan tiered sessions, according to years of experience in an immersion classroom, to attract veteran as well as new immersion teachers
- Consider offering professional development in the immersion languages (especially crucial for non-native speakers of the immersion languages)
- Ask the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota to schedule more of its summer immersion institutes in June so that districts can use professional development money during their academic year which typically ends on June 30
- Develop online professional development opportunities such as webinars, peer mentoring, exchange of teaching strategies and lesson plans
- Continue a dialogue about immersion teacher licensure that would include officials at the state level
- Advocate for an immersion coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Education
- Develop talking points (elevator speech) that describe your immersion program and express a practice or accomplishment that makes a difference in children’s lives
- Develop relationships with other dual language organizations around the country
- Lobby legislators (e.g. recent US House vote to get rid of FLAP grant funding)
- Encourage and be a party to Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with countries where our programs’ languages are spoken
Immersion program support was a third area of interest. Some of the ideas that surfaced from the small groups include:
- Accreditation for immersion schools to maintain fidelity to the immersion model
- Discussion and articulation of benchmarks for language proficiency
- Articulation with secondary programs
- Help with developing cohesion between immersion and non-immersion staff
- Job postings on the website
- Share information about native-speaking classroom interns
If you were unable to make it to the meeting, send us an email or leave a message on the forum page with your thoughts, concerns, questions, or suggestions for collaboration among administrators of immersion schools.