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.”
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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.

New Elevate CI members get free copy of Zaretta Hammond’s book!

Rachelle and I are opening doors on the Elevate CI membership for Culturally Responsive CI teaching for four days only, January 25-28 (this Friday-Monday). Go to elevateci.com to learn more & to join the waitlist— we’re uploading videos this whole week giving an overview of each stage of the membership.

 

Once you’re on the waitlist you’ll be the first to know exactly when we open the membership tomorrow… and if you’re one of the first ten new members you’ll get a FREE COPY of Zaretta Hammond’s Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brainthanks to our new collaboration with Corwin Press! 

 

The membership costs only $20/month and you can cancel at any time. Many of our Teaching with CI graduates are finding that being in the membership allows them to really deepen and put into practice what they learned in the workshops. 

 

You can also take a look at the Elevate Facebook page—we’re doing Facebook Lives every day this week and those videos are available on our page. You don’t need to have a Facebook account to access our page. 

Here’s what a few of our members are saying:
“This is an investment. What do you get for this investment? I am a woman that spends over $1000 once a year to go to these national conferences out of my own pocket. I really care about professional development. I am an addict. And what I can say from this program is that this is like a full-quality, ongoing conference all the time.” —Rhonda Eastman, NBCT (French), Bellevue, WA

“I’m really excited about how the subscription has helped me focus more on student equity … I can see things a little better, for fairness, through their eyes. Not overly politically correct, but fair. I [can] … see it better, like the way to direct the conversations.” —Elaine Gonzales, French, Chantilly, VA

“It’s easy to fall into old ways and drift away from trying to do CI, so I feel that when I listen to the modules I get back on track. It’s very worthwhile, and it’s energizing. It really does help you out when you don’t know what to do next.” —Ellen Pulupa, Spanish, Bethesda, MD 

“[The membership] is a wonderful opportunity for professional developmentand due to all the parts that are involved… the presentations and the slides, the audio and video recordings, they are all very well done, in a professional manner. There’s access to fantastic resources as well…. It [is] great to be a member because of the facilitators, you and Rachelle, you are tremendous! [You do a] phenomenal job at facilitating the sessions, because you’re genuine and enthusiastic, creative, and of course very knowledgeable about what you present, and caring too…. The material is just outstanding.Thank you!”—Dawn Solevad, French/ESL, Washougal, WA

Language learning for the new year!

Want to be as happy as Rachelle feeding Amor-a-Bull the adorable?

This is the year you’re finally going to learn French or Spanish… or reacquaint yourself with the language you love & haven’t spoken in too long… and you’ll be grinning from ear to ear just like Rachelle.

Join us!! No homework or grammar exercises! Your brain will acquire the language as you have fun.

Rachelle and I are delighted to announce that Elevate Education Consulting has a full schedule of winter term language classes beginning Jan 7. (Contact us here to let us know that you’d like to purchase a gift certificate for a friend or family member.)

We are offering:

  • Beginner French & Spanish both in person and online.
  • Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced classes in person.

*AND*

  • A 6-week session of online French for French teachers and Spanish for Spanish teachers starting Feb. 14! (These classes are also open to non-teachers with proficiency in French or Spanish.)

Check out the schedule and register for Spanish classes here: elevateeducationconsulting.com/your-brain-can-learn-spanish

Check out the schedule and register for French classes here: elevateeducationconsulting.com/your-brain-can-learn-french

Happy New Year from Amor a Bull
Amor-a-Bull the adorable wishing you a happy new year full of language learning! Don’t you love the heart on his head?

French & Spanish classes starting Jan 7 – a great gift for yourself or for others

Want to be as happy as Rachelle holding a sloth? Is this the year you’re finally going to learn French or Spanish… or reacquaint yourself with the language you love & haven’t spoken in too long?  Join us!! No homework or grammar exercises! Your brain will acquire the language as you have fun.

Rachelle and I are delighted to announce that Elevate Education Consulting has a full schedule of winter term language classes beginning Jan 7. (Contact us here to let us know that you’d like to purchase a gift certificate for a friend or family member.)

We are offering:

  • Beginner French & Spanish both in person and online.
  • Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced classes in person.

*AND*

  • A 6-week session of online French for French teachers and Spanish for Spanish teachers starting Feb. 14! (These classes are also open to non-teachers with proficiency in French or Spanish.)

Check out the schedule and register for Spanish classes here: elevateeducationconsulting.com/your-brain-can-learn-spanish

Check out the schedule and register for French classes here: elevateeducationconsulting.com/your-brain-can-learn-french

 

 

Two new French classes starting… NOW!

Your Brain Can Learn French!

(And once you’ve voted and volunteered, your brain will need something to think about besides the election.)

Two classes, one for beginners, one for intermediate/advanced, both on Tuesdays.

Register here: https://www.elevateeducationconsulting.com/your-brain-can-learn-french/

Class # 1

Online beginner French starts Tuesday, November 6 (Election Day – VOTE!)

NO HOMEWORK, NO GRAMMAR EXERCISES

6:15-7:15 pm EST

6 classes – 11/6, 11/13, 11/20, 11/27, 12/4, 12/11

$210

Class #2

Speak & Write with Savoir Faire: Refining Your French

Refine your writing and speaking so that you are more eloquent and precise!

In-person class in Silver Spring starts Tuesday, November 13

1:30-2:30 pm EST

6 classes – 11/13, 11/20, 11/27, 12/4, 12/11, 12/18

Questions? Visit my website elevateeducationconsulting.com, email me, or feel free to use the contact form!