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Advocacy Advocating for German Shari Fox St. Louis Park Junior High MCTLC / MNAATG Fall Mtg.

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Presentation on theme: "Advocacy Advocating for German Shari Fox St. Louis Park Junior High MCTLC / MNAATG Fall Mtg."— Presentation transcript:

1 Advocacy Advocating for German Shari Fox St. Louis Park Junior High MCTLC / MNAATG Fall Mtg.

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

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

4 Advocacy 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

5 Advocacy 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…

6 Advocacy 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.

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

8 Advocacy 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

9 Advocacy „keine Zeit“ Wer „keine Zeit“ hat, diese Beziehungen zu pflegen, riskiert ganz einfach sein Deutsch-Programm. Die Konkurrenz ist groß!

10 Advocacy Crisis? A plan to “remove German”, or “reduce language options” has been rumored or announced. What do you do?

11 Advocacy 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?

12 Advocacy 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!

13 Advocacy And… If “choice” between 2 languages, WORK TOGETHER

14 Advocacy 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”

15 Advocacy 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!

16 Advocacy 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!

17 Advocacy 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?

18 Advocacy 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…)

19 Advocacy 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!

20 Advocacy 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

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

22 Advocacy viel Erfolg! Kontakt: Shari Fox


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