World Language Educators’ Professional Development Opportunities in Iowa

Allison Wienhold (@SraWienhold) over at the Mis Clases Locas blog wrote a great post following #iwla15 called Getting the most out of a conference.  As my students would say, Allison’s post was ON POINT.  At the end of her post she asked what advice her readers had for attending conferences, and here is my response: don’t stop at one.  Especially not if you live here in Iowa!  One of my #iwla15 missions was to collect all of the professional development opportunities available to me this year, and I am going to share these opportunities with you.

World Language Educators' Professional Development Opportunities in Iowa | Collected and Shared by Elizabeth Dentlinger at

World Language Educators’ Professional Development Opportunities in Iowa | Collected and Shared by Elizabeth Dentlinger at

  • Global Education Institute for Teachers: Saturday, December 5th and Sunday, December 6th, this is an amazing opportunity out in Iowa City.  According to the website, “This year’s Global Education Institute for Teachers at The University of Iowa will help you incorporate global learning into your classes, applicable to all content areas and disciplines, from writing and science to social studies. The Institute is a two-day, one license renewal credit experience taught by University of Iowa Professors Greg Hamot and Jason Harshman. Attendees will take home many exciting new resources and easily accessible materials, and will finish with a ready-to-go curriculum outline for their classrooms.”  40 teachers will receive free tuition and the first 25 outside a certain radius of Iowa City receive free housing.  Check out their website or “attend” the IWLA’s virtual Facebook event for it to meet other attendees before you get there!  By attending additional workshops and completing the curriculum, you will also be able to earn a Global Scholars Certificate, 3 license renewal credits, and $100 stipend for resources that advance global education!  If interested, make sure to register by October 28th by following the directions on the website!
  • Tête-à-Tête Professional Development Workshop: Saturday, February 20th, 2016 out at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.  The focus changes every year, but it’s multi-language and multi-level friendly.  One year focused on technology to support language learning, but this year is yet to be determined.  If you have suggestions for an idea, or questions, please contact Pam Wesely at or on Twitter @pamwesely.  There is a Facebook event through IWLA to stay up-to-date on this event as details become available.
  • Café Latino: Always the first weekend in March, this wonderful opportunity for Iowan Spanish teachers will be March 4th and 5th, 2016 at Grand View University in Des Moines.  Last year the focus was El Amor Argentino, and I wrote about the experience here.  It was awesome to learn something new, to spend some time with Spanish speakers who weren’t my students, and earn a graduate credit for $100.  I highly recommend it.  The focus is still being finalized, but make sure to check out the AATSP of Iowa website or “attend” IWLA’s Facebook event to stay up-to-date as details are released.
  • Iowa Statewide Teaching and Learning and ICCOC Joint Conference: This conference is hosted at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City, Iowa on March 20-22nd, 2016.  The website says this is an opportunity for “higher ed,” however, many Iowan high schools offer community college credit or AP credits.  I also think the presentation topics would lend themselves well to the K-12 system: Environment of Completion, Successful Partnerships, Teamwork and Collaboration within the College, Online Learning, and Continuous Improvement.  Lastly, shouldn’t we know more about the institutions we are preparing our students for?  If you’re in higher ed, consider presenting!  Proposals are due by October 28th!
  • Spanish Quiz Bowl:  My mentor Larry Pace and his colleagues began the event a few decades ago, and Jason Noble (Twitter @senornoble; Blog has recently revived it.  An initiative that I believe is currently led by the AATSP of Iowa, this is more professional development for your students and a way to work with the community.  On Tuesday, April 26th at Central College in Pella, Iowa, students compete in various categories that include: skits, karaoke, head to head, music, and grammar.  Cost is only $10 per student which includes lunch, and teachers are free!  Check out their website:!
  • #iwla16: Keys to the World Language Classroom: Never too early to begin preparing for the next fall conference!  Mark you calendars for October 7th & 8th on the east side of the state in Coralville, Iowa!   I’d love to see you presenting or attending one of my sessions if you’re not ready to present yourself yet.  We’ve already got an #iwla16 Facebook event created, where we will post information as it becomes available.  Make sure to “attend” via Facebook so you get announcements as soon as they are available.

Do you know of other opportunities happening around the state?  Please share them!  Or, does your state organization have an awesome PD idea?  Please share those, too!  Beg, borrow, and steal, right!? ; )

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