Episode 28- This work is URGENT!

conferences Nov 23, 2022

This is urgent work.

Here is Abelardo's blog and reflection on the conference.

Here is my blog and reflection on the conference

Abelardo Almazán-Vázquez

Françoise Thenoux

Videos shared in Abelardo’s session:

Video 1

Video 2

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Welcome to Teaching La Vida Loca, a podcast for World Language Teachers seeking inspiration, unapologetic authenticity and guidance in centering joy and facilitating language acquisition for the people who matter most, our students. I'm your host, Annabelle. Most people call me La maestra loca. And I'm an educator just like you, and inspiring teachers is what I do. 


Hi, how are you doing? Welcome to Episode 28 of teaching la vida loca. I'm recording this on a beautiful, sunny, chilly morning, I guess it's definitely not chilly, it's it's 65 degrees, it's chilly to be clear for Louisiana. And I am really excited to share about one of my biggest reflections from ACTFL 2022 was this past weekend in Boston, Massachusetts, I feel very privileged to have been able to attend, I had to pay everything out of pocket. And I am 100% certain that if I didn't have a full time second job, supporting teachers, coaching teachers, training and mentoring teachers like you, there's no way I would have been able to attend. So, I just want to acknowledge first and foremost that I recognize my privilege and being able to attend. And I know that's really frustrating and hard for those of you who are not able to attend big conferences like these, because of the circumstances of having to pay out of pocket if your school doesn't have the money, not to mention the possible inability to leave your family, leave your home, animals, etc.  

Leaving Home

So, the conference was amazing. I'm so grateful. For those of you who attended that, that in my workshop at 8am. On Saturday. I'm so grateful for each and every one of you who took the time to come and tell me that you appreciated a specific blog post or a podcast episode or a resource that I have created and that you shared or felt inspired by. Thank you for taking the time to tell me how I've impacted you and your classroom and your students. It really, it makes everything worth it. Because leaving, leaving home, leaving home for conferences like these is not easy, leaving my family, putting in the work as a full time second job because it really is full time between the podcasts and the blogs and my PLC community. It makes it all worth it when you share how, how I've impacted you. So, I'm very grateful. 


On to what I really want to talk to you about today. And that is just a little reflection from one of the many presentations and workshops I attended. You can read about all of my reflections in my latest blog. But the most profound and most important message that I want to share with you today came from Abelardo Almazán-Vázquez's session. It was the first session I've ever attended in any conference that was in Spanish. I'm so used to attending sessions in English. So, it was beneficial just to hear his Spanish. But he shared about his reflections and other reflections and testimonies on using inclusive language in the Spanish classroom. And a couple of years ago, I attended a workshop on creating brave spaces, and really shifting to using inclusive language in the classroom. That workshop was put on by Francois Thenoux who's the word Spanish. Oh, the woke Spanish teacher excuse me on Instagram. And his session was so powerful because he shared various videos that I can include in the in the show notes and authentic stories from members of the LGBTQ plus community. And he shared that this work is not just important, but it is urgent. The work of really closely examining the texts, the images, the stories we're sharing in our classroom, and making sure that we are being inclusive of all identities, all races, all ethnicities. And really being intentional about the voices that we're sharing in our classroom and this work. He kept on saying especially towards the end, it's urgent and immediately after leaving his session, I learned about the victims of the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs. And it just reinforced that idea that this is urgent work. It's not just important work, it's urgent. Because Raymond green Vance, Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston, Derek Rump, and Ashley, I'm not sure how to say her last name. So I'm just going to spell it Paugh. They deserve to go home that night. And they deserved to live out the rest of their lives joyful. And I it's just so important. It's so urgent, the more we can incorporate, and be intentional about celebrating people in our classroom and people of all gender identities and all walks of life, the more we can be really intentional about it, the more hope we have for a more loving and empathetic world because we need it. We need it. And our kids deserve it.  

Take Time For This Urgent Work

So, this work is urgent. If you're new to this work, I'm going to include some resources for you in the show notes, but and some accounts for you to follow. But please start the work if you haven't already. read and learn about using gender inclusive language in your world language classroom and begin to do this work because it is so important but more than important, it's urgent. I'm so so grateful for Abelardo Almazán-Vazquez and the work he does day after day in his classroom and the work he does with his dance students. Challenging the norms of the masculine, ie the macho or machismo and Latin dances and instead, changing it to the leaders and followers rather than these gender roles that have been inherent in Latin dances for so long. I'm so inspired by him and so grateful for his work. And I'm grateful for you for listening to this episode. And I hope that you go out and continue to push yourself to challenge your own biases, confront your own racist tendencies, because we all have them and really do the work to continue to unlearn and be more intentional about whose voices and who we are representing in our classroom day after day. Thank you. Thank you for listening teacher. I'm grateful for you. And I look forward to connecting with you in my next podcast episode 29. Gosh knows what that will be about. Take care teacher. Thank you for listening. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for doing this urgent work. Until next time, I'll be teaching la vida loca and I'm sure you will be too. Bye bye.

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