Cheers to the New Year!
Season’s Greetings, MALT Members!
As the whirlwind of the school year pauses for a moment for our holiday break, I am excited to recap our Fall conference and let you all know about MALT developments for 2020. As the new MALT president, I will be continuing the MALT Nation blog, one of the innumerable contributions Alice Nation has made to MALT during her tenure on the board. I want to thank Alice for all she has done. She is definitely leaving some big shoes to fill! During Alice’s time on the board, we have developed a scholarship program that has brought our organization new, energetic, and contributing members. We have improved our member communication through membership postcard reminders after MFPE, letters in January, our website, and this blog. We now have MALT Awards and are participating in the regional PNCFL awards and some of our nominees have been passed on to the ACTFL awards. We have cultivated a relationship with EF which sponsors our conference happy hours, MALT awards, and some flights to bring MALT members to events like LILL and the JNCL Advocacy Day. Also, we have t-shirts, a website, and a MALT Google account that has made things so much easier! There is so much more that has happened and, although Alice isn’t solely responsible, it does take good leadership and support to bring about change. Alice has provided that leadership for the past four years. I’m deeply grateful to Alice and everything she has supported and thought of as a MALT Board member. We are a stronger organization because people get involved, donate their time and ideas, and are dedicated to our community and profession. I can honestly say I would not still be teaching if it weren’t for MALT and feeling like I finally had colleagues to talk to. When Tana Luptak nominated me for Secretary in 2015 I wanted to say no, but it has certainly been one of the best career decisions I have made. I am so glad I had the opportunity to join this group, actively grow as a teacher/leader, and get to know all of you.
We had a GREAT fall conference in Belgrade at MFPE! Big thanks to Neal Rainey for being our conference chair and keeping it chill and easy all the way up to the end, even with some surprises along the way. Thanks to our amazing presenter, Laura Terrill, who created an engaging and comprehensible workshop that I know we all benefited from. Our sectionals were outstanding, and we had a record number of members sharing their expertise. I’m continually inspired by all of you who choose to share what you know and improve our efficacy as world language teachers. Thank you!
I’m excited to welcome Beth Janney as she moves from Secretary to President-Elect, Dana Pierre as she takes over as Secretary, and Paul Asleson as he continues on to finish his term as Treasurer, Megan Wong as she continues to be our representative to PNCFL, and Alice Nation as she moves from President to Past-President. Your MALT Board will continue to work hard for you and your professional development, and we encourage you to get involved in future years!
Our MALT Awards this year honor Teresa Mountains as the Teacher of the Year, Kristi Schell for Outstanding Contributions, and Marton Marko as Postsecondary Teacher of the Year. Congratulations!
Save the date for April 17-18 in Helena, MT where we will welcome Jon Cowart as our presenter! Jon was an enthusiastic request from members, and we will be reading his book, Classroom Management for the CI Classroom for our book club (available for purchase using the link here or on our Book Club page). We are currently organizing graduate and undergraduate credit through UM, which we’ll tell you more about as it comes together. The room block and more info will be available soon!
If you are in Great Falls and interested in serving as our Conference Chair for MFPE 2020, we’d love to hear from you! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested. The first of two planning meetings is Friday, January 24 in Great Falls. Let me know!
In closing, cheers to all of you as we begin 2020 and continue on our journey as educators, mentors, colleagues, and friends. Happy New Year!
- Blakely Hay, MALT President