It’s the time for new beginnings, fresh starts, and renewed motivation… but then, just like that, it’s already mid-January.

It’s easy to be overly ambitious this time of year and try to do a million things to be a better world language teacher. It’s also easy to be overwhelmed at the thought of all the changes you want to make.

We have to remember that real change takes time.

What is really important is knowing where you want to be in the end. What do you hope to have done by the end of the year? By the start of next year? If you know your big goal you can start to take small or big steps to get there. As long as you have a focus, you’ll be taking steps in the right direction.

We work with many teachers and departments that know they want to make shifts toward proficiency. They’ve heard so much about it over the years from ACTFL and other conferences and want to make changes. But how do you start? How do you keep moving? Some are hesitant to change until they have all the answers and have everyone on board. Some are diving in and trying a little of everything, but sometimes lose track of their big goal. Others are making huge strides by taking action with simple but strategic changes.

No need to wait until you have it ALL figured out. Believe me, my understanding of proficiency is still growing almost 10 years since my first training. Even the master teachers who inspire me most are still evolving and adapting and growing. You don’t have to change everything today, but take steps (large OR small) to move toward your big goals. Don’t be afraid to take off on your own. If others aren’t ready to take the same leap you are – that’s ok! Go for it anyway! It’s good to have the freedom to grow at our own pace.

Looking for your next step?
For the next month or so, we’ll be sharing some changes you could make to continue your shift toward proficiency. These ideas will simplify planning, support our proficiency goals, AND promote communication. 

Some of our upcoming posts will take a look at…

 Daily Objectives

Student Goal Sheets

Speaking Activities 

Formative Assessments 

Whether you make a little change or transform your class…

keep moving in the direction of your big goals. You can do it! 

Want to share your teaching goal? We’d love to cheer you on AND I’m sure it would help others plan their goals, too! Tell us about it in a comment below.


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  1. Sra. H

    I can tell you that we dived in headfirst with Adios Textbook this year. Every day I feel like, “I’m not sure what’s going to happen today, but here goes nothing!” It has been a big change to move toward proficiency based teaching and learning, but it has been pretty great. Today, we handed out end of the semester evaluations to students, and some of their comments tell me that we made the right change. They are amazed with how much Spanish they can speak since the beginning of the year and how far they have come confidence wise. I am excited to see these changes. Go for it!

    • Megan Smith

      Haha! I love your honesty! Most changes require that we don’t know exactly how they will work or feel but I love that you took a leap and are having positive results! Yay for you!


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