Saturday, November 20, 2010

Boston Common

I'm in Boston for a foreign language teaching conference and finally have a minute to update as I wait for a friend to meet me for dinner. It's been a whirlwind of attending sessions and networking; I'm lucky that I was able to stay with two good friend who are a little further along in their career paths so I've been introduced to some interesting people.

This morning we presented at 8:00 but arrived at 7:15 to prepare which was like an hour earlier given our CST body clocks. My friend and I did not sleep well thinking about the presentation so we slammed some coffee and let the adrenaline do the rest. We had well over 150 people in attendance and ran out of handouts. I think the most touching moment was at the end when a teacher waited to talk to us and said she had a question that was not directly related to our presentation but she wanted to know if she should try to speak French in her African classroom even if her skills weren't where she wanted them to be. She nearly burst into tears, worried that she was not giving her students what they needed but wanting to do better. I hope what we told her was helpful and comforting.

I've attended numerous sessions including one given in French and one given in Spanish, something I really enjoy doing. The best so far was in English about immersion schools in Utah. They are very progressive and seeing videos of 3rd graders speaking comfortably in Spanish and French (and Mandarin, we're told) was amazing. So much to think about though I won't be able to process it all until I'm home.

After some sessions, my friends and I walked around through parks and squares. It is so beautiful here with bright yellow leaves on every tree and temperatures in the 50s. We stumbled upon a great pub with clam chowder, fish and chips, and a lobster roll shared among the three of us. So delicious, one of those great finds that happen when you go a few blocks off the beaten path.

It's been a great time and I'm hoping to see the Harvard area before heading back.

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