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Advocating for German. Shari Fox St. Louis Park Junior High MCTLC / MNAATG Fall Mtg. Goals. How to prepare, prevent “crisis” What you can do in case of crisis Discussion. Keeping strong!. KEY: Good relations with Families Students Colleagues Community

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Advocating for German


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advocating for german

Advocating for German

Shari Fox

St. Louis Park Junior High

MCTLC / MNAATG Fall Mtg.

Advocacy

goals
Goals
  • How to prepare, prevent “crisis”
  • What you can do in case of crisis
  • Discussion

Advocacy

keeping strong
Keeping strong!
  • KEY: Good relations with
    • Families
    • Students
    • Colleagues
    • Community
  • Communicating importance of German
    • Everywhere to everyone!
    • Constantly

Advocacy

families
Families
  • E-Newsletter every 6-8 weeks
  • Articles in the School Newsletter
  • Keeping in touch with issues, rewards
  • Your own Web Site
  • Homework/Projects involving parents
  • Extra-curricular activities (Clubs, trips, etc.)
  • Build their confidence in you

Advocacy

extra curricular activities
Extra-Curricular Activities
  • “International Rollerparty”
  • German Club
  • International Cooking Club
  • Hip Hop Club
  • Talent Show
  • The more kids you relate well to, the better your reputation, the more your program grows, the more support you earn…

Advocacy

school involvement
School Involvement
  • Extra curricular activities
  • Billboards (subject matter, labels, etc.)
  • Project Displays
  • Displays about German
  • “Special” summative assessments (experiential)
  • Staff development (offer workshops)
  • Colleagues support active/important school members
  • ADVERTISE! Put it on district website, in the Newsletter, etc.

Advocacy

contests
Contests
  • GACC
  • Goethe Institute
  • Step into German
  • AATG
  • Contests are fun and when you win, its great PR!
  • ADVERTISE IT!

Advocacy

community involvement
Community Involvement
  • Use District Website for PR
  • Local paper
  • Service Learning projects
  • Companies / Tour German-based companies; make connections concrete
  • Germanic American Institute
  • Immersion school volunteering

Advocacy

keine zeit
„keine Zeit“

Wer „keine Zeit“ hat,

diese Beziehungen zu pflegen,

riskiert ganz einfach

sein Deutsch-Programm.

Die Konkurrenz ist groß!

Advocacy

crisis
Crisis?

A plan to “remove German”, or

“reduce language options” has

been rumored or announced.

What do you do?

Advocacy

what to do
What to do
  • Don’t take it personally
  • Find out the facts:
    • Why?
    • When effective?
    • How (at which levels, entire or phase-out)?
    • Who decides?
    • What is the decision process?
  • How can YOU be involved in the decision process in a professional manner?

Advocacy

steps ii
Steps, II
  • Get the FACTS!
  • Meet with your principal
  • Take careful notes
  • Be prepared
  • LISTEN, reiterate to clarify
  • Du willst Gegenargumente entwickeln.
  • Your credibility is at stake!

Advocacy

slide13
And…
  • If “choice” between 2 languages,

WORK TOGETHER

Advocacy

samples reasons
Samples reasons
  • “Spanish is the language of choice”
    • Need to fill the growing demand
  • “Can’t support such a small program”
  • “We need to ease scheduling issues”
  • “We need to free up money for …”
  • “Not as important as a life skill / no applications”

Advocacy

counterpoints
Counterpoints
  • Form possible counterpoints/solutions to the previous reasons offered for cuts.
    • Know your community issues and interests
  • Remember…non-emotional, factual evidence is of the essence!

Advocacy

sample counterpoints
Sample Counterpoints
  • How does cutting save money?
    • “Show the math”
    • Fund other program using grant or federal money?
  • German is not the only or even main cause of scheduling issues
    • “Show us how it could ease issues”
    • Offer solutions to the issues (get creative)
  • German program may be smaller, but growing / stronger
    • Attrition rates, enrollment!

Advocacy

sample counterpoints ii
Sample Counterpoints, II
  • German as a business & science language
    • Different languages have different applications
    • Offering fewer languages leaves kids all with same skills --- who has the niche?
  • Importance of language choices in global society
  • Spanish is language of choice
    • Reduced options means less diversity
    • Most popular is not always the most beneficial
    • We are the educators! If it went by popularity, would there be math, science and reading?

Advocacy

sample counterpoints iv
Sample Counterpoints, IV
  • German program may be smaller, but growing / stronger
    • Lower attrition rates
    • Increasing enrollment!
    • Show trends
    • Compare to Spanish, but not French
  • ? Is this a move to fund other, new programs?
    • Would make the budget point MOOT
  • Not wise to cut existing, strong programs in order to engage in new, risky programs.
    • You may never get it back!
    • New program may not be supported (remember Japanese, Russian…)

Advocacy

was dann
Was dann?
  • Make a ppt. presentation on your German Program and its applications
    • Glaubwürdige Quellen angeben! Nicht einfach googlen.
  • Present personally to involved decision makers
    • Superintendant
    • Site council
    • Principals
    • School Board
    • Dept. Heads
  • Public Forum?
  • Get on the School Board Agenda
    • Have community support present!

Advocacy

slide20
Kids
  • Kids are talking, what do you say?
    • Don’t ignore it
    • Answer diplomatically
    • Don’t be negative about other languages
    • Don’t let them worry
    • Reassure them of importance and relevance of German
    • Give them arguments to counter other students

Advocacy

und noch was
Und noch was…
  • Stay professional
  • Stay informed, seek communication with principal
  • “Inform, inform, inform” …everyone
  • Stay involved in the process
  • It may take years…

Advocacy

viel erfolg
viel Erfolg!

Kontakt: Shari Fox

www.myteacherpages.com/webpages/SFox1

Advocacy