Spanish Teacher Shares at National Conference

At the annual American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language Conference, Lower School Spanish teacher Valentina Correa, or Profe Valentina, as her students know her, shared her expertise as a Lower School Spanish teacher who gets her students up and moving in the classroom.

The conference, the biggest annual meeting of world language professionals globally, took place in Chicago, which provided a perfect opportunity for faculty from around the city to share, learn more and contribute to ongoing conversations in curriculum development emerging in their profession.

Profe Valentina knew she had something to share, so she developed her presentation. “Engaging Elementary Learners Through Stories,” to actively engage her peers with curriculum she uses in her Parker classroom.

Students in Profe Valentina’s Spanish class frequently have their bodies in motion as she infuses her curriculum with the Total Physical Response technique—a method of teaching language and/or vocabulary concepts by using physical movement to react to verbal input.

By leading her peers in using their full bodies in their curriculum to convey meaning in the classroom, Profe Valentina hoped to boost their confidence and encourage them to start dynamically creating their own stories and/or adapting songs, books and classical stories in their target languages. Correa understands that acquiring a language happens in a stress-free environment, and techniques she found successful as a Lower School teacher could be effective for learning at all levels.

Profe Valentina hopes to offer a similar presentation to her peer faculty at Parker in the future.

While this was Profe Valentina’s first time presenting at the ACTFL, she has led workshops at other conferences, including the 2023 CI Summit Summer conference, and participated in a range of panel discussions and presentations. Correa is looking forward to this summer’s CI Summit Summer conference, when she will teach a Summer lab to elementary students (ages eight through ten) that also welcomes teachers in training to observe and learn from her practice.

In reflecting upon the importance of professional development for JK–12 teachers, Profe Valentina shared, “I think it's important to grow as a teacher and be up to date with all the strategies and beautiful things we can learn to improve our teaching. I am very passionate about sharing my experiences with other educators, but at the same time learning and growing professionally from others.”

Parker thanks Profe Valentina for sharing her talents and teaching with students and teachers alike!
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.