Join our 2019-20 cohort – “Teaching with Culturally Responsive CI”

Rachelle and I are so excited to have launched a credit-bearing online course for language teachers!

We take you step by step along a success path to develop your Culturally Responsive CI teaching practice.

Content is shared weekly over 12 months. Each week’s instruction only takes an average of 20 minutes.

Through crystallized learning modules, curated resources, concrete
actions you can take in your classroom, and guided reflection, we walk
you through the 5 stages of Teaching with Culturally Responsive
Comprehensible Input:
1. Understanding CI
2. Providing CI
3. Witnessing Progress
4. Trusting the Process
5. Deepening Your Culturally Responsive CI Practice

Course Cost – $250 (less than $5/week!)
…or 4 payments of $62.50
1-4 Graduate-level credits available from University of the Pacific.

  • Engaging with the modules over the course of the year earns you one
    graduate-level credit with no additional work required.
  • Each additional graduate-level credit requires a 3-page, typed,
    single-spaced narrative report.
  • 1 Graduate-Level Credit : $62/Completion of course modules
    No further work or documentation is required.
  • 2 Graduate-Level Credits: $124 / 6-page reflection paper
  • 3 Graduate-Level Credits: $186 / 9-page reflection paper
  • 4 Graduate-Level Credits: $248 / 12-page reflection paper

For more information & to register go to elevateci.com
Registration open only until November 1, 2019.

Elevate CI Success Path (1)

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Fall French classes begin 9/16

Ready to win a gold medal?

It’s our 25th wedding anniversary today, and we’re in Montreal for a week to celebrate and remember what it’s like to be just the two of us now that our 2nd child has left for college. We couldn’t resist getting photos of each of us “winning” a gold medal. See a picture of my husband George at the end of this post. 

Fall French classes are starting up on September 16, and as usual, I’m offering them both in person and online via Zoom video conferencing (very much like being in person!). Take a look at the French class page on our website: elevateeducationconsulting.com/your-brain-can-learn-french. Highlights for the fall session include:

  • In-person classes for adults (and teenagers) for all different levels, including a special Speak and Write with Savoir Faire: Refining Your French class for solid French speakers who want to take their French to the next level, intermediate & advanced conversation-based classes, and of course a continuing advanced beginner class.
  • Online classes for brand-new beginners as well as advanced beginners/intermediates.
  • Advanced French for French Teachers (online) – begins 10/1. In this online class, you will have a chance to use your French in a richer way, connect with other teachers, and experience what it’s like to be receiving Comprehensible Input at an intermediate/advanced level. (More information available here.)

If you’re ready to register, you can click here.

Don’t hesitate to email me with any questions – anna.gilcher@gmail.com.

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Things I Didn’t Know

It’s been one year since my neighbor Rob was killed by police in our neighborhood while on his daily walk. Here is the piece I wrote then; here is a news piece covering how we marked that anniversary.

I’m sharing below a powerful piece by James Mulholland that helps us understand the background of why my walking through my neighborhood and his walking through that same neighborhood lead to such different outcomes.

Note To My White Self

Nine years ago, I began to slowly awaken to my racial prejudices and white privilege.  It was a rude awakening.  During the past three years, I’ve blogged about that journey from racial ignorance.  Recently, someone asked me what have been the biggest surprises along the way.  What do I know now that I didn’t know before?  What follows is a short list of some of my bigger epiphanies and the posts where I shared these revelations.

I didn’t know that for a short period after the Civil War black people made significant progress in political and economic terms.  I didn’t know we had black US Senators and Representatives, that many southern states had black legislatures, that black literacy rates skyrocketed and blacks make significant economic gains.  I didn’t know about the reign of terror necessary for whites to end this moment of possibility, murdering thousands of black men, women and…

View original post 1,028 more words

Summer French & Spanish classes

Your Brain Can Learn French!

Summer French classes are starting up on July 8, and as usual, I’m offering them both in person and online via Zoom video conferencing (very much like being in person!). Take a look at the French class page on our website: elevateeducationconsulting.com/your-brain-can-learn-french. Highlights for the summer session include:

  • In-person classes for adults (and teenagers) for all different levels, including a special Speak and Write with Savoir Faire: Refining Your French class for solid French speakers who want to take their French to the next level, intermediate & advanced conversation-based classes, and of course a continuing advanced beginner class.
  • A new in-person kids’ class! Tuesdays 2:45-3:45 pm. I currently have two middle-schoolers in this class and I’m looking for at least two more kids to make it a go.
  • Online classes for brand-new beginners as well as advanced beginners.
  • Advanced French for French Teachers (online) – In this online class, you will have a chance to use your French in a richer way, connect with other teachers, and experience what it’s like to be receiving Comprehensible Input at an intermediate/advanced level. (More information available here.)

If you’re ready to register, you can click here.

Your Brain Can Learn Spanish!

The next session of Rachelle’s Spanish classes starts up on July 8 this summer as well, again both online and in person—and she’s got lots of options for you! Believe me when I say that you will not regret spending an hour a week in her company. You’ll learn a ton and you won’t believe how much fun you’re having.

Take a look at elevateeducationconsulting.com/your-brain-can-learn-spanish.

She’s also got an online Advanced Spanish for Spanish Teachers class running this summer. This is your chance to improve your Spanish in a non-judgmental environment, connect with other teachers, see what’s it’s like to be in a comprehensible-input based classroom at an intermediate/advanced level, and get lots of ideas about how to run your own classes.

If you’re ready to register, click here.

6-week French classes start week of 4/23

Bonjour tout le monde! I’m starting up a new 6-week session of my Advanced French for French Teachers class on Tuesdays 7:45-8:45 pm ET on 4/23.
As usual, we’ll have a different (short) resource/reading each week, each one connected to one of the six AP themes. This is a great way to refresh your French while having fun —and while getting ideas for teaching these same texts in your own classroom.
I’m also starting up a new 6-week session of Beginning French. It’s a brand-new class aimed at people who’ve had no French, so if you’ve been wanting to see what it’s like to be in a CI classroom as a beginner, this is a great opportunity to try it out for six weeks. We’ll be meeting Thursdays 4:15-5:15 pm ET starting 4/25. 
Please let friends & colleagues know about these special 6-week classes. Direct link to register here or go to elevateeducationconsulting.com/your-brain-can-learn-french and click on “register now.”

Your Brain Can Learn French & Spanish!

Your Brain Can Learn French!

Spring French classes are starting up on April 1, and I’m offering them both in person and online via Zoom video conferencing (very much like being in person!). Take a look at the French class page on our website: elevateeducationconsulting.com/your-brain-can-learn-french. Highlights for the spring session include in-person classes for all different levels, including a special Speak and Write with Savoir Faire: Refining Your French class for solid French speakers who want to take their French to the next level, intermediate and advanced conversation-based classes, and of course a continuing beginner class. Online classes this session are Advanced Beginner French and Advanced French for French Teachers. (If you’re ready to register, you can click here.)

Your Brain Can Learn Spanish!

The next session of Rachelle’s Spanish classes starts up on April 1 this fall as well, again both online and in person—and she’s got lots of options for you! Believe me when I say that you will not regret spending an hour a week in her company. You’ll learn a ton and you won’t believe how much fun you’re having. Take a look at elevateeducationconsulting.com/your-brain-can-learn-spanish. If you’re ready to register, click here.

The Spiritual Practice of Rest

Note: I preached this sermon on 3/3/19 at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Silver Spring as part of the Way of Love series that we did during Epiphany. You can read more about the Way of Love: Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life on the Episcopal Diocese of Washington website here and on the Episcopal Church USA website here.

 

“Come to me, all who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 25: 28-30)

 

Take a deep breath and let it out with a sigh.

Take another deep breath.

 

We have arrived at the seventh spiritual practice in the Way of Love: Spiritual Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life.

Rest.

 

Turn. Learn. Pray. Worship. Bless. Go. Rest.

 

Turn toward God. Turn toward love. Turn toward generosity and kindness.

 

Learn. What is new? What do we need to learn again?

 

Pray. In all things. Every day. Hearts open.

 

Worship. In community. We need each other.

 

Bless. We have been consecrated by God for a holy purpose. We have been blessed and through this we can bless.

 

Go. Cross boundaries, listen deeply, and live like Jesus.

 

And now Rest.

 

Take a deep breath. Let it out with a sigh. Take another deep breath. (No, really.)

 

“Remember the sabbath and keep it holy.”

 

Rest is an injunction—a commandment!

 

It’s also a biological need. We are creatures, created with biological needs. We must eat and we must sleep. We are born and eventually, we must die.

 

Rest is also a gracious, grace-filled, grace-opening invitation.

 

These are all just words, and the Way of Love is a set of spiritual practices.

 

I’m going to invite you now into a practice, an experience.

 

Take a deep breath, and let it out with a sigh.

 

Find a position that’s relaxed and alert, with some space around you. Move over if you are very close to someone. You want some elbow room.

 

I’m going to ask you in a moment to bring one hand into the air. Usually I have people do this lying down so that they can only see their own hand. If you’d like to lie down, go ahead. Or turn your body. Or close your eyes. Whatever works for you so that you can have this experience.

 

Giving ourselves rest is also giving ourselves rest from comparison and judgment.

 

Now, go ahead and bring one hand in the air.

 

For 30 seconds, do some smooth movements with your hand.

Now do smooth & fast.

For 30 seconds, do some jerky movement.

Now do jerky & slow.

Make a shape with your hand and hold it.

Make another shape… & another.

Bring your hand in contact with your body or the pew.

Move it to another point of contact.

Now one more.

Now take up as much space as you can with one hand. Find out how far your arm can go.

And take a deep breath.

Now I am going to put on a piece of music and I invite you to play around with the movements of one hand.

 

(music = Sweet Rain – Stan Getz)

 

What did you notice? Scoot over or turn until you are near another person. Talk with your partner about anything you noticed in that dance of one hand.

 

Share out a few words you heard from your partner.

 

(sharing)

 

What we just did is called a one-hand dance, and it comes from the practice of InterPlay. InterPlay is based in a series of incremental “forms” —such as this one-hand dance—and it’s one of the ways I create more spaciousness in my life.

 

That is to say: it is one ways I engage in the spiritual practice of Rest.

 

Did you know that fine motor movements activate the parasympathetic nervous system?

 

So does taking a deep breath and letting it out with sigh.

 

We’ve all heard about the fight/flight/freeze response. That’s what happens when we are in the sympathetic nervous system. That nervous system is all about basic survival. We look at the world as a series of threats. We see enemies. We are rigid. We are anxious.

 

The parasympathetic nervous system, on the other hand (often called the “rest and digest” nervous system) is all about creativity, connection, and empathy. We see commonalities with others. We have fluidity and nuance in our thinking and moving and being.

 

On a very practical level, the spiritual practice of rest is the practice of training ourselves to be able to drop back in to the parasympathetic nervous system even when we’ve been activated by a perceived threat.

 

This can be very hard, especially at first. Much of our culture is based on revving us up so that we can be manipulated more easily, so that we will be anxious and need to assuage our anxiety with food, drink, new clothes, new cars, new houses. Then we can be further anxious because we spent too much money, ate too much, drank too much… And we’re offered judgment and guilt and additional ways to spend our money in an attempt to feel better. We believe (and are led to believe) that we need to speed up in order to get more done.

 

This is a lie.

 

Next time you feel your heart pounding, your anxiety mounting, take a deep breath and wiggle your fingers or toes. If you’re alone, you might take 30 seconds to do a hand dance. And then notice what has shifted. On a very physical level, notice if you yawn. Notice if your stomach gurgles. Notice if the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet are tingling. These are signs that you have dropped back into the parasympathetic nervous system.

Come to me, all who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

 

My spiritual practices of rest?

Breathing

Yoga

Contemplative Prayer

Journaling

No email or Google searches or Facebook on Sundays

 

What are yours? Take a moment to think about it. (Maybe it’s jogging, or gardening, or cooking…)

 

True rest is a sacred and radical act. We take on the yoke of this practice and we find that our burdens are lightened. We are not alone. We are not surrounded by enemies. There is, instead, an abundance of connection and play and creativity. The world is still difficult. But we have what we need, together. More than enough.

 

In his sermon last summer introducing the Way of Love practices, our presiding bishop Michael Curry, quoting Dietrich Bonhoeffer, called upon us throw ourselves into the hands of God… where we might learn to love an enemy… to throw ourselves into the hands of God… where we can be fully at peace and at one with God…

 

How do we do this? We practice.

 

We practice.

 

Spiritual practices are, as he reminds how, how we practice for when the moment comes and the Spirit moves through us.

 

We were made to love and to be loved. We were made for both movement and stillness, for wakefulness and sleep, for work and for rest, for birth and life and for death.

 

Let us throw ourselves into the hands of God, let us throw ourselves into the hands of Jesus, where we can rest and be part of the creative dance that will heal the world.

 

That is, indeed, the Way of Love.

 

AMEN.