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!
I had the wonderful opportunity to share my passion and work during a session titled: Authentic, Meaningful Lessons for Newcomers
You can access the presentation and all resources provide during the session. My blog post here has everything you need!
I was honored to have a great number of participants, including Dr. MaryEllen Vogt who tweeted: “Every child has a story. Every child has a name” (Emily Francis at SIOP Nat Conf). We must know & use the stories, & learn to pronounce each student’s name. Emily’s book faves: “The Day You Begin,” “Alma and How She Got Her Name, & “My Name is Jorge.”
Finally, the most awaited day came. One of the biggest opportunities of my life. The opportunity to share a national stage with SIOP® authors!!!
I was very nervous. Honestly, I always get nervous when I share my story but this time was different. This time I was sharing it in front of Dr. Echevarria, Dr. Short, and Dr. Vogt. Three amazing researchers and masters in our English learning and teaching field. Of course, there was a reason to be nervous about!!
But, I did what I do best...I shared my story!
The audience feedback was pretty amazing. I know the authors were pleased too. My heart was filled with gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity.
Because my keynote title was "Building Bridges", I came up with an idea that scared me at first but I was certain it was an activity I needed to include in my keynote. As a brain-break between hearing my story and sharing some learning points, I asked the audience to build bridges. Yes, the audience build bridges using marshmallows and toothpicks! I appreciate Teresa Palma, our county ESL coordinator, and Allyson Newtown for supporting me and giving me tips to make this activity a huge success.
The purpose of the activity was to get the audience thinking about our ability to build bridges with the core foundations our students already have:
There were so many amazing breakout sessions that it was very difficult to choose which ones to go to. A lot of my #PLN and #ELLchatBkClub friends presented and I missed their sessions. This was my very first SIOP conference and the very first time I got to personally attend a presentation led by the SIOP authors. I attended 3 different sessions led by Dr. Short and/or Dr. Echevarria. I learned to so much from them. It was like reading their research and work out loud. It was everything I always thought it would be.
I had a fabulous time meeting new friends and making connections as well as learning a reaffirming my work. If you ever have the chance to attend a SIOP® National Conference, DO IT!! SIOP® National Conference 2020 will be in Nashville, TN...So, see you there!
Thank you for reading!