Iowa World
Language Association

Language Advocacy in your own school!

08 Mar 2013 10:02 AM | Kat Akers
When collaborating with your staff are there certain breaks in your conversation because they just don't understand your content? Do you feel you are pushed to the bottom of the totem pole of knowledge because you are a language teacher?

  Of course there are always going to be times that you feel your content is just not understood by either a parent, staff member, or administration. The important thing is to remember that each individual has gone into their content area for their own reasons and the best thing to do is respect them. I have learned in my few years of teaching is that I must take interest in my colleagues work for them to take interest in mine. How can you do this you say, check it out below. These are just a few basic steps to create a great environment in your own district to ensure others respect your work.

1. Be enthusiastic behind your own doors. If you are not excited about what you are teaching, the kids won't be either, which will trickle into a downward spiral of respect from all sides of the spectrum. 

2. Collaborate! Take an interest in another team members classroom by asking them to collaborate on a project together. You might have to schedule a few extra meetings or communication with them, but try it and see how your kids then make the connections in the two or three content areas. 

3. Communication is Key! Ask questions and really listen to the responses you are getting. Do this by asking what is going on in your colleagues' classroom. They might be struggling with the same problems or students. 

4. Get your kids out of your room. Okay, this may not be a possible action for all to leave your classroom on a regular basis. What I mean is: get the kids to explore language development, culture, or uses outside your own room. Globalize the classroom, even if it is just in your school. Get the kids to explore the uses of languages in other content areas or show them how by taking a field trip. 

5. Attitude is everything. If you are willing to work with someone new or try something new how can others around you do the same? You need to take a step out of your comfort zone and show everyone that you are willing to take chances to try something new. Having a great attitude about risks will show others you are willing to work beyond your own mind and accept others' work as well. 

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