New Year, New Focus
Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that another year has passed already! 2017 was a great year for our contributors at Esperanza Education – a year of personal and professional growth for all of us. It has been a year of change too, and 2018 brings a new focus for our little organization. While many of our services will still be on offer, most of us have shifted our focus from private language teaching to education consulting (such as curriculum and program development, teacher training, and education research). Our website will soon be updated to reflect our current offerings. In the meantime, here’s a little bit about what each of us has been up to, and our plans for this year:
Mary: Building Language Partnerships
Mary had a diverse year. She spent the spring working for the BC NDP as Training and Volunteer Coordinator in the lead up to the provincial election. In the summer she moved to St. Paul Island, Alaska to participate in a full-time Where Are Your Keys internship on language revitalization methodology. When she returned to Vancouver, she wove many of these new immersion-based techniques into the four fall language exchange programs offered by Language Partners BC. She also took Turkish classes and kept up with her own Turkish-English language exchange partners.
In 2018, Mary plans to continue working on local environmental and political campaigns, while directing Language Partners BC. Through Esperanza Education, she will be blogging and offering beginner Turkish tutoring and small group classes. Mary will also continue to focus on improving her own fluency in Turkish.
Kathryn: Leveling Up
Kathryn spent 2017 focusing on professional development and building teaching skills. Early in the year she started a diploma program through Queens University in Special Education. In July she spent two days at the Asia Pacific Foundation working with a team of Social Studies teachers on curriculum materials to help BC students develop a better understanding of Canada’s relationship with countries in Asia. In October, she attended the Provincial Specialist Association conference in Vancouver, a highlight being Judy Thompson‘s talk, Decolonizing our Colonized Minds. In November, Kathryn attended a Provincial Outreach session on Living Assessment in regards to the new BC curriculum and the changing means of student assessment.
In 2018 Kathryn hopes to finish her Special Education diploma, run an 8 km race, and practice speaking Spanish more consistently. Through Esperanza Education she will continue to blog about her teaching experiences, and is available for consulting and teacher support opportunities.
Martín: Finding a Place at Home
Martín spent 2017 working for the Peruvian Government trying to develop a set of policies to strengthen school leadership in the public education system. Working with school principals was an eye-opening experience, but he was driven away by the toxic Peruvian politics when the education minister was changed for the second time in less than a year. However, he learned a lot about administrative simplification at a national and local level, school leadership focused on organizational well-being, and collaborative leadership.
He still fantasizes about starting a PhD to research student and teacher wellness, and about finishing a graphic novel (more news on that soon!). So in 2018 his efforts will be focused on developing skills in performance evaluation and data analysis as a consultant for public and private organizations in Peru, teaching in the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences’ teacher training program, and finally releasing the closeted writer he has inside!
Nicki: Major Life Changes
2017 was one of the most important years of my life: the year my daughter was born! Before her birthday on May 5, I was working with Kwi Awt Stelmexw to develop learning materials for the Squamish Atlas project, and with the BC Ministry of Education on research to develop Indigenous language learning policies and curricula. Since May 5, my main focus has been my baby. I am speaking to her exclusively in Spanish, my second language, and have enjoyed learning alongside her. Of course she is teaching me many important life lessons too!
This year, I will continue to focus on my daughter, while also preparing to move to Victoria in the fall where I will be starting a PhD in Education with a focus on Language Revitalization. In the coming months, I will begin work as a Research Assistant to my supervisor, Dr. Onowa McIvor, on a study titled NEȾOLṈEW̱’ exploring the role of adult learners of over 40 Indigenous languages across the country. Through Esperanza Education, I will be offering consulting services for curriculum development, program design, education research, and policy development, as well as translating and editing services.
From all of us at Esperanza Education, we wish you a happy, healthy, and language-filled 2018!