I am in the middle of a two-day retreat for my district’s ESL Team. Here is what it’s like:
- At the Museum of Art
- Big, airy room with huge windows
- View: on one side, a fountain; on the other side, a garden with green shade trees
- Seated around tables with real tablecloths
- Breakfast of fresh fruit and delicious pastries
- Cue the music video: opening scene of Rocky
- Our director shouts “Are you ready to rumble?”
- Our district staff comes in and takes their corners- dancing, jabbing and trash-talking- to introduce our four areas of focus for the year
- We have a contest: each team is given a bag with a standard, a book, and a few resources and has 15 minutes to come up with a lesson; we presented and a panel of judges picked “America’ s Best Teachers”- the prizes were certificates for each member of the winning teams to choose and purchase items for their classrooms: 3rd place- $100, 2nd place- $250, and my first place team- $500!!!!
- Yummy gourmet box lunches
- An afternoon free to explore the museum
- Closing raffle with prizes
Tomorrow will be another exciting day including:
- Same lovely setting and food
- Keynote by our district Teacher of the Year (a libraian!)
- Cultural gallery walk (we will all bring an artifact, write, do the walk and leave comments for each other)
- Break-out sessions (I am leading a session based on Dream Wakers: Mentor Texts that Celebrate Latino Culture by Ruth Culham- who signed my copy when I saw her at AllWrite)
- Another raffle with a grand prize of two trips to the WIDA Conference in…drumroll please…ORLANDO, FLORIDA in October!
Don’t you all wish you could be part of it??!!!