During the summer of 2018, I received an email from SIOP® senior project manager at Pearson, Allyson Newton, with an invitation of a lifetime. The email was an invitation to serve as a featured keynote speaker at the 2019 SIOP® National Conference in Portland, OR.
Wow! I wish you would've seen my excitement. No words can explain how humbled and honored I felt to be considered. Not only was I going to personally meet THE SIOP® author, (incredible women I admire for their work and passion,) but I was also going to share a national stage with them. An opportunity I couldn't miss!
On Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 I had the amazing privilege to attend the 15th Annual Maryland ELL Family Involvement Network (MELLFIN) Conference.
MELLFIN is a non-profit organization, committed to sharing information and resources in support of immigrant families living in Maryland. MELLFIN is a collaborative body, cultivating effective strategies to appropriately meet the needs of Maryland's increasingly diverse and fast-growing immigrant population.
The theme for the 15th annual conference was "Schools and Community Partnership = EL Success". I was honored and humbled to be one of two keynote speakers - Ms. Becky Pringle, Vice President of the National Education Association was our morning keynote and I served as the afternoon keynote.
I had the privilege to share my immigrant journey as well as a few tips to support families and English learners to reach their full (and sometimes hidden) potential.
Mannheim School District 83 in Franklin Park, IL holds an annual Bilingual Parent Summit and I was honored to be invited this year (2019) as a guest speaker.
The Bilingual Parent Summit is designed to provide Latinx parents the opportunity to engage and learn strategies and activities to work with their children. The summit not only provided a wide variety of workshops for parents but also a great meal for the entire family. It was wonderful for sit down and lunch with families as they asked questions and asked for support to better care for their children.
I had the greatest privilege to share my immigrant journey as well as my struggles and difficulties as a language learner here in the USA. They best part of the presentation was that it was ALL in SPANISH...yes, and a little in English for our non-Spanish speakers. I noticed several parents crying and hugging their children while I was sharing.
After the presentation, I had the opportunity to have to open Q&A sessions where parents asked questions and were free to discuss methods to support their bilingual children.
From the moment I made it to IL to the day I left, Dr. Piedad Kaye was so sweet and amazing with me. I have so much to thank her for. First of all, she believed in me and gave me the chance to share my story with her staff and school families. She also, was very kind offering all her help knowing I was not feeling well. District 83 provided nothing but royal treatment for me! LOVED visiting them and I would LOVE to go back.
I also had the amazing opportunity to meet Sarah Said. I met Sarah through twitter and we've collaborated in several twitter chats, including #ELLchat_bkclub. It's amazing how connected we felt even though we had never met before.
I was honored to attend a wonderful family event night organized by the English as a Second Language of Rowan-Salisbury, North Carolina. This meeting had ELs and their families at heart. Not only they allowed me to share my immigrant story and EL experience to the audience in Spanish, but also they had several workshops available for parents.
I loved taking questions and answering concern parents have in regards to second language learning; using native language at home; the law that protects ESL students; how school system works in the USA, etc.
I can tell that a lot of parents felt a connection to my story and I hope that my story stays with them forever!
The Virginia ESL Supervisors' Association (VESA) hosts an annual conference that provides K-12 Virginia educators and administrators of English Learners opportunities for professional development, learning new ideas, networking, and program planning.
I was honored to join Dr. Kate Kinsella as keynote speakers for the 2019 conference entitled: Creating Pathways to Proficiency
You can access the full conference program below!
The Long Island Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (L.I. RBERN) holds an annual conference organized by the ENL/Bilingual Program Office. The Long Island Teacher Institute 2018, "Generation NOW: ACC-ELL-erating Pathways to Success for Linguistically Diverse Learners was on December 7th, 2018.
I was honored to be invited as their featured presenter following the amazing keynote presentation by Dr. Lorena Llosa.
On August 7th, 2018 I had the greatest privilege to be the opening keynote at the North Carolina Department of Education: Growing Success for English Learners' summer conference.
Below you'll find my slides presentation if you'd like to go over it.
You may also want to check out the convention's hashtag (#NCELs18) to see our learning!
During my presentation, I had the audience pause and reflect on my story. I had them go to mentimeter.com and created the word cloud below by entering three words that came to mind after hearing my story. There were 140 participants who enter words and I LOVE how the word 'CULTURE' is the one word that stands out! Passion and inspire are the next two words that stand out.
THANK YOU, thank YOU, to Geovana for catching this short video!!
Thank you for reading!
VirtuEL Conference Keynote
What Every Teacher of English Learners Should Know
On Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 I had the greatest privilege to join several inspiring and amazing educators from around the world at the 2nd annual VirtuEL Conference. Tan Huynh (@TanELLclassroom) and Carol Salva (@MsSalvac) are the founders of this amazing and FREE online annual conference for teachers of English learners (and all classroom teachers in general).
The lineup of presenters is EPIC - from classroom teachers to authors and professionals in the field. Each presentation is short but loaded with great and very helpful information to support our students. To see all presentations click here: bit.ly/VirtuEL
I was honored to be the mid-conference keynote where Carol Salva interviews me and I share my immigrant/newcomer story. I also share what motivates me to do what I do and what all educators should keep in mind in regards to their language learners. If you'd like to watch/hear the interview, just see Youtube video below or go to the VirtuEL webpage.
I also would like to invite you to follow the hashtag #VirtuEL18 where you'll be connected with amazing educators who share our passion to support language learners.
If you watch the interview, I would LOVE your feedback and learn from you how you will perhaps use this video at your school or in your county.
I leave you with this quote and thought...what are your language learners doing because of YOU?!?
Thank you for reading!