My take away from the conference was not a new technique or new strategies(although I got plenty of those). What really stuck with me was the need to make learning a world language relevant and meaningful. I hope to never again hear the words "I had four years of high school (Spanish, French, German, etc.) and I can't remember a word". Every day I go into the classroom trying to make the lesson as fun and inviting as possible. I want my students excited so they will continue their language learning into middle school, high school, and beyond.
It is the "beyond" that most concerns me. Our world is shrinking and we put our children's future at risk when we do not provide them with support they need to learn another language. Madison City Schools strive to put our students' needs first to ensure their future success. Our elementary Spanish program is an example of our district's commitment to students' future. Brain research shows that the younger a child is the easier it is for them to learn a language. As children grow older language learning becomes more difficult. By beginning our students' language learning at an early age with the Pre-K and Kindergarten and continuing on through the elementary grades Madison City is doing what research has shown is best for kids. I am so proud to work for this district. The commitment to excellence is inspiring and I'm thankful I get to work with all of the dedicated teachers and administrators who make it happen.