Guest blog post by Sarah Carp, LIGHT Awards team lead
Members of the LIGHT Awards team at Buena Vista Horace Mann spent the first 18 months of their grant learning together about bilingual education and two-way immersion by attending conferences, reading together and visiting nearby dual-immersion schools. Thanks to the LIGHT Awards, six teachers attended workshops held by the Association of Two-Way and Dual Language Education (ATDLE) in Sacramento in 2016 and the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) in Dallas in 2017. While debriefing the learning from NABE in 2017, the team decided that we wanted to increase our participation in the conferences. Sarah Carp and Frank Lara submitted a proposal to NABE around the topic creating an equity-focused community and school and presented on March 3, 2018 at NABE in Albuquerque. Gail and Erica will be presenting at the conference for the California Association for Bilingual Education at the end of March in Sacramento around reading intervention programs in dual-language programs.
The team found that attending conferences is an exciting way to be connected to the latest research in the field of bilingual education. We were inspired by attending workshops by dual language superstars like Virginia Collier and Wayne Thomas (pictured), Kathy Escamilla and others. The conferences helped us see the diversity of bilingual programs, identify research to share with our staff and make connections with other bilingual educators. Our district supported our participation by paying for some registration and travel fees.
Presenting at a national conference was intimidating, yet in the process we reflected on our school and learned new skills.