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  • Writer's pictureMaria Fernanda Becker

“Envision, explore, empower” 2022 I F L T A Fall Conference

Updated: May 24, 2023

“Envision, explore, empower” was the theme of the 2022 Fall Conference of IFTLA (Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association) held in Indianapolis. It's hard to believe how many years have passed since the last time I had attended this conference. Have a missed it? Yes! As teachers know, time and money are often major limiting factors to attend this type of professional development opportunities. Then, add the fact that it takes a good amount of effort, and even a leap of courage, to plan on leaving both our students and our families for a few days. Yet, it is all worth it…and we need it.

In fact, something we have learned in recent years is the importance of taking care of ourselves to be better able to help others. This is the last one of Steven Covey’s 7th Habits of Highly Effective People: the principle of “sharpening the saw”. Matthew Lynch, contributing author to

The reflects on these principles by applying them to the education field, but he talks about the habit of “sharpening the saw” as the first one of the list. Certainly, attending a professional conference is a way of practicing this principle because at these conferences we take care of ourselves as teachers by learning new strategies, keeping up with new trends in education, renewing our energies; in short, by becoming better teachers. Additionally, the in-person format of this type of conferences can be very rewarding social experiences, as well as great collaborating and networking opportunities.

With all this in mind, I took the leap of courage, I made my plans and lined-up my resources to attend the 2022 Fall Conference of IFTLA. Not only did I attend, but I also presented two sessions to share about the comprehensible input and reading comprehension program that I have implemented at the intermediate level course since 2019. The program is called “De la nao al aula” and it started thanks to a fortunate opportunity to work with Spanish author Natacha Sanz Caballero, who had just published her novel “Yo fui el primero: la increíble historia real de la primera vuelta al mundo.” I read the novel and I loved it, for me and for my students! …and this is how together -author, teacher, and students- began to envision, to explore, and to empower each other in fabulous journey of reading authentic Spanish resources. I shared about this journey with other teachers at the IFTLA conference, and I will share it with more details with all of you in this platform. So, join us and …¡Zarpemos! Let’s set sail!

Y si se estaban preguntando

¿cómo se dice "sharpening the saw" en español?:

Se puede decir:

“Afilar la sierra”

Ejemplo: Maestros, no se olviden: hay que “afilar la sierra”, o como también se dice, hay que recargar las pilas

para que podamos seguir enseñando con energías renovadas y

con incansable entusiasmo.

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