Here is a brief bio of each member of our working group.
(Each member create a brief biographical paragraph, include a photo if possible.)
Lynn Fulton-Archer: I have taught Spanish for the past 14 years, much of it through television. I was fortunate to be mentored by an AP Economics teacher who showed me how effective television can be at bridging the gap and allowing access for all students to language classes. I'm currently the Curriculum Project Director for a new "hybrid" program in my district that uses video and face-to-face instruction to deliver daily lessons. I teach Spanish to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders, although over the years I've taught Pre-K through 16+. I think I'm a pretty good example for my kids of the power of early language learning as I started learning Spanish in 2nd grade in Arizona... and the learning has never stopped! Teaching is a huge part of who I am - much to the chagrin of my neices, nephews and my friend's kids... they all know that if I can try to teach them something, I will! Take for example the science lesson I tried to impart to my friend's nine-year old last week as she tried to float M&Ms in a glass of sprite... "Miss Lynn, it's the weekend and I'm not in school!" Anyway... I love good food (my husband is a chef), good wine, good company and good conversation. I'm sure there will be lots of it all this summer!
Brenda Gaver: I have taught Spanish for ten years: The first two years, I taught in a traditional classroom setting. The next three years, I taught via live television (and yes, I fell down once - that was amusing). The classes were broadcast to smaller school districts all over the US. The high school students did homework and sent it to me for grading, and the elementary school kids called during the live broadcasts to interact with me, and they sent me art projects to showcase on the air and on my website. After that grant ran out, I went back to teaching in a traditional high school classroom. I hadn't realized just how much I missed the daily interaction with my students! In addition to teaching, I run the Link Crew Program, which helps the incoming freshmen transition successully to high school (and it gives my upperclassmen the opportunity to be POSITIVE role models!!). Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family (my husband and my 10 year old son), scuba diving, skydiving, and playing in the sunshine!!! :-)
Brenda Gaver: Photo
Nicole Naditz: I am a National Board Certified Teacher and I have taught French to grades 3 through 12, including AP French Language since 1993. I am very active in many professional organizations and as a presenter. In addition, I was honored and humbled to be recognized by my students and peers on numerous occasions. I was invited to join the California Subject Matter Advisory Panel for Languages Other than English in 2004 (designing the assessments that are one part of the requirements for the single subject credentials for prospective language teachers) and I will review Single Subject Credentialing Programs offered by universities in 2006. I founded Read Around the World (a project between the local language teachers' association and the local public library system) and I organize many additional partnerships and opportunities to advocate for the profession, educate the public about languages and for students to experience languages and cultures outside of the classroom. I am currently serving as a full-time consulting (mentor) teacher in the PAR/BTSA program for San Juan Unified School District. I've been married for 16 years, have a nine-year-old son, a 17-year-old cat and six-year-old dog.
Jane Rauschenberg: I have been teaching French for fifteen years now. Two years ago I was elected Vice President of Publications for the Ohio Foreign Language Association. As the editor of our member newsletter and a newsletter sent to administrators of all public school districts in the state, I have a responsibility to be a more effective advocate for foreign language education. I have begun working with our state Advocacy Chair. I attended the JNCL-NCLIS Delegate Assembly in Washington, DC the first weekend in May. I just need to find better ways to really make a difference.

And in an effort to get to know each other, respond to the following questions:

1. One thing that you should know about my life is . . .

Lynn Fulton-Archer: I'm really "perky" as a freind of mine puts it. People tell me I have a contagious enthusiasm for the things that I do. I think of it as "passion".

Brenda Gaver: I am SUPER adventurous!!! I love to scuba dive (in the freezing water of Puget Sound), swim with sharks, and skydive.

Nicole Naditz: I have very eclectic interests that go along with a quirky personality: karaoke, figure skating, calligraphy, poetry writing, knitting, among others.

Jane Rauschenberg: ?

2. One thing that I’d like to know about you is . . .

Lynn Fulton-Archer:

Brenda Gaver: What made you want to teach?

Nicole Naditz: I look forward to reading your bios and then seeing what questions remain.

Jane Rauschenberg: ?

3. Three ideas or experiences that have significantly influenced my philosophy of teaching and learning are . . .

Lynn Fulton-Archer:
1) I spent my sophomore year abroad in Sevilla and while I thought my classes and teachers had prepared me, I found myself "baptized by fire" - total immersion. It was that expereince that influenced how I teach today... walk into the classroom and speak only in Spanish to my students!
2) My colleague when I started teaching on TV really showed me how effective television can be as an instructional delivery model.
3) It's really important to always learn from our students and never be afraid to tell them you don't know that answer to a question!

Brenda Gaver: Teaching on TV and via the internet made me explore many ways to deliver content. Attending TPRS workshops improved my teaching (and my way of thinking about language teaching in general). Being a part of my state language teachers organization rejuvenates me and pumps me up every time I attend a meeting or a conference - especially WILL (Western Initiative for Language Leadership)!!!

Nicole Naditz: All students can learn; Every day, somebody needs you; Language is living and should be taught as a dynamic, exciting discipline with a real purpose!

Jane Rauschenberg: my classroom is a window to the outside world; love what and who you teach; every student deserves the best I can do--but I'm only human

4. One way that my thinking has changed over the course of my career so far is . . .

Lynn Fulton-Archer: Communication, real and purposeful, must be be the core of every lesson. Students have to be given lots of opportunties to really use what they are learning.

Brenda Gaver:

Nicole Naditz: Target language instruction is not only possible, but essential. Just as essential are the community experiences that give the classroom experience purpose.

Jane Rauschenberg: the more I plan and structure my lessons, the more freedom I have to go with the "teachable moments" that arrive and enrich my classroom more than all those plans I made ever could.

5. The primary reason I wanted to attend this institute was . . .

Lynn Fulton-Archer: To expand my thinking and to open myslef up to new ideas, new people and new technologies that I can bring back to make me and my program stronger.

Brenda Gaver: I have attended many workshops and conferences in my state (and in the state next door), and I thought it was a great opportunity to connect with people in other parts of the country, and to push myself further as a leader and a mentor.

Nicole Naditz: To facilitate my growth as a mentor in order to best support new teachers entering the profession so that they (and their students) experience success and remain in the profession.

Jane Rauschenberg: to collaborate with other professionals in the field and to stretch myself to become more effective in my own profession.

6. One of the ways that I think this institute will challenge me is . . .

Lynn Fulton-Archer: To rise up to the level of thinking of the other participants. I'm constantly amazed and inspired by what other people are doing in their programs and hope that my program does the same.

Brenda Gaver: It will take me outside my “comfort zone” and get to know new people. I love sharing, collaborating, and learning from others. I am very excited about working with such a fabulous group of teachers!!!

Nicole Naditz: I am always humbled by the amazing skill and experiences of those with whom I work when I have the opportunity to attend institutes. This institute will challenge me to rise beyond what I may have perceived as my full potential and reach for the stars that my colleagues in the institute have already touched.

Jane Rauschenberg: this will be my first institute, and I don't know any of the other people attending. So I don't really know what to expect.

7. One of my biggest pet peeves in working with others is . . .

Lynn Fulton-Archer: People who don't want to think outside of the box or challenge the status quo and the way things have always been.

Brenda Gaver: People who aren’t open to other people’s ideas or ways of thinking.

Nicole Naditz: People who are unopen to change, discussion, or new ways of thinking--not something I would expect to find among a group of mentors!

Jane Rauschenberg: people who come into a collaborative project with their own agenda and who don't really want to hear from other points of view.

8. One thing that I hate to do when it comes to collaborating with others is . . .

Lynn Fulton-Archer: Disagree with the direction something is going. I will if I have to in order to bring things back on topic or into focus, but I don't like to "disagree" in general.

Brenda Gaver: Listening to negativity.

Nicole Naditz: ???

Jane Rauschenberg: ?

9. One thing that you should know about working with me is . . .

Lynn Fulton-Archer: My mind is constantly going... working through all the aspects... it sounds a little chaotic but it usually comes out well in the end.

Brenda Gaver:

Nicole Naditz: I am a perfectionist, but only with myself! I have high expectations for others, but I am definitely most critical on myself.

Jane Rauschenberg: I don't deal well with chaos, I like to plan and structure things. I can work with other people's plans, I'm just not good with not having a plan.

10. I hope that you will be patient with . . .

Lynn Fulton-Archer: the fact that I have my grandmother's "gift of gab".

Brenda Gaver: my wandering mind... :-)

Nicole Naditz: the fact that I am very good friends with another member of the institute (in a different group); it will be hard to not notice!

Jane Rauschenberg: see my answer to number 9.

11. When it comes to technology, I am not comfortable . . .

Lynn Fulton-Archer: with really new things. I was a little concerend about this "wiki" thing until I got here. I'm still not sure about the "MOO" that I've seen mentioned in some emails.

Brenda Gaver: Using brand new things in front of a class without a few dry runs first.

Nicole Naditz: without it!

Jane Rauschenberg: being away from my toys.

12. What I would like to learn about technology is . . .

Lynn Fulton-Archer: How to create effective learning experiences for my 3rd-5th graders using technology... and how to get our tech specialist / computer lab "in on the act"!

Brenda Gaver: How others use it to enhance their teaching.

Nicole Naditz: How to design e-learning experiences--I will taking my first stab at it using Coursemaker Studio this summer (with no tech support)!

Jane Rauschenberg: how to use it more effectively in the classroom and for professional purposes.