And as the first snow of the year blankets the Green Mountains, we draw close to the end of the first semester. Around the world, many schools take a well-earned break and both teachers and students prepare for holidays spent with family and friends. For many of us, catching up on sleep and sharing gifts are two hallmarks of the end of the calendar year.
Teachers continue to innovate, collaborate and meet the ever-changing needs of students in today’s international schools. At the same time, many educators are feeling the toll of extended innovation as we continue to adapt to the changing educational landscape and wonder what the next semester holds. Whether we dream about a hammock on the beach or a spot in front of a warm fire, we are all ready for some quality nap time or a long solstice slumber. Like the deep hibernation that many species engage in during this season, well-deserved rest and self-care are essential to help us recharge and renew.
This time of year also reflects both generosity and gratitude. Across the global education network, many teachers give their students the gift of an asset-based approach: recognizing and honoring each student’s strengths. At WIDA we are also grateful for the generosity of educators who continue to share insights and new approaches to serving multilingual learners. The WIDA Global Community of Practice is a vibrant space for educators to share innovative programs from around the world. When teachers co-create and curate good ideas with the larger international school community, all students benefit. And the science of generosity also tells us that giving can actually make us happier; so for more ideas about self-care and happiness, check out the Greater Good Science Center’s monthly happiness calendar.
As we look back at 2021, this month’s newsletter includes important retrospectives — as well as several opportunities for teachers to get involved. You can pilot the new Marco ALE, submit a proposal for the 2022 WIDA Annual Conference, or nominate your school as our monthly Focus School. Give the gift of your good ideas by sharing with the international educator community!
All of us at WIDA wish you a restful end to the year and we look forward to staying connected in 2022.
Jon Nordmeyer, WIDA International Programs director
*Swahili: sleep peacefully