As the first snow of the year blankets Madison, we draw close to the end of the first semester and prepare for holidays spent with family and friends. We are grateful for the global WIDA community of educators who share a common commitment to building on student assets, challenging inequity and exploring innovative ways to serve multilingual learners. I am always amazed by the generosity of educators sharing resources, lessons or systems: over coffee at conferences, around the lunch table at a WIDA Institute or using a shared #hashtag on Twitter. This month’s newsletter includes several opportunities for teachers to get involved: give the gift of your good ideas!
We also appreciate the WIDA host schools who help to coordinate our professional learning events and the enthusiastic participants who contribute to them. Recent WIDA Institutes brought together educators from over forty different countries in Bangkok, Rome, Seoul, and Dubai; and in February Institutes will gather in Medellin and Shenzhen. This month, we offer our first WIDA Symposia of this school year. And across all four Symposium cohorts - in Seoul, Vienna, Quito and Singapore - we will engage with new research and resources to catalyze this global community of practice.
Based on the improvement science work of Anthony Bryk and the Carnegie Foundation, the Symposium engages participants around the world to collectively inquire and co-design together. By linking experienced and passionate educators across all four global WIDA Symposia, we are building a collaborative action research network, focused on improving international school programs for multilingual learners. When educators connect, ideate, build and innovate together – and then share what they learn with the entire education community – all students benefit.
Jon Nordmeyer, Director