A New Beginning

As some of you know, I have decided to transition out of the classroom at the end of the school year.  (The photo shows a lovely gift from a student in honor of my retirement.) This was a difficult decision to make and I will miss my students enormously.  There are many reasons why I’ve chosen this, my 29th year, to be my last. My grandsons, Oli (born April 25, 2017) and Remy (expected July 8, 2018) are two of the most important ones!  (Yes, both my son/daughter-in-law and my daughter/son-in-law have been kind enough to provide me with a baby boy to love on in the past year!)

Although I will no longer have a classroom of my own, my passion for the work of language teaching has not waned in the slightest.  I cannot imagine a life in which I am no longer creating lessons, collaborating with colleagues and providing professional development to other language teachers! Therefore, I’m happy to announce my next venture, Shepard World Language Consulting, LLC.  I have already been invited by several districts to provide professional development and revise curriculum over the next few months and am so excited about this new chapter in my professional life!

I still plan to maintain this blog and will add posts when I have ideas to share. In fact, I hope to add some lessons that I created this spring when I have some time off later in the summer.  I do want to let my readers know, though, that I will soon lose access to my Google Drive at school.  I have been busy making copies of my materials on my personal account, but it may be some time before I am able to recreate the agendas with hyperlinks to the new copies of each resource.  My suggestion to all of you is that if there is anything on the blog that you would like to use, please make a copy of the Google Docs as soon as possible.  (Word documents that I created before June, 2016 will not be affected.) Thank you for your patience as I work to update the last two years’ work over the next few months!

Bon Courage to those of you that are in the final stretch of this school year and Bonnes Vacances to those of you who are enjoying some well-deserved rest and relaxation.  Please keep in touch if you have any questions on anything that I’ve shared here, or if you’d like to schedule professional development or curriculum revision in your district.

Happy Summer!

58 thoughts on “A New Beginning

  1. Laura

    Wow ! That is exciting news and to be able to love on your grandsons will be a blessing and a true new chapter in your life. You have been a tremendous inspiration to all of us as French language teachers. The amount of energy and hard work and dedication you put into your work is truly amazing and sooo very much appreciated to us that you share it all with us!!

    I hope to see you at some PD workshops! I’d love to attend!
    Bon Courage et merci pour tout!

    Reply
      1. Gigi Scarbeck

        Dear Madameshepard,
        I thank you so much for sharing your work and I am sorry I have taken time to express my gratitude before.
        I am writing also to wish you all the best in the new departure.

        Most of all thank you for keeping the blog still open and the unit still accessible; personally I still read through and certainly will continue …
        Blessings 🙂
        Gigi

        Reply
    1. Susan Kratofil

      Madame Shepard,
      I’m sad to have just discovered your blog but happy it will continue. Can you give me advice on how to manage a combo French III, French IV, French IV AP class? We use DF and Thèmes. Also, I cannot find how to access your unit lessons.
      Merci en avance!

      Reply
      1. madameshepard Post author

        Hi, Susan I have been most successful by teaching combined classes together. I have found that there are a wide variety of proficiency levels and some IIIs might be stronger than some IVs. This will, of course, require you to have an A year curriculum and a B year curriculum. To access the lessons you can choose the relevant level from the menu on the left and scroll through the posts until you find one that interests you. Then if you read the post there should be links to an agenda for the unit to which the resources are linked. Let me know if you have any questions!

        Reply
  2. Nelly

    Félicitations pour les petits-enfants qui ont bien de la chance de vous avoir dans leurs vies! Bonne continuation dans vos nouveaux projets.

    Nelly

    Reply
  3. Liz Martini

    Bonne chance! Merci pour le partage de tous les leçons et les idées. C’était fantastique!

    Liz Martini

    Reply
  4. Elcie Douce

    I wish you all the best and thank you for your contributions to the World Languages community.

    Reply
  5. Georgette LePage

    Bonne chance! You have been such an inspiration to so many of us and have been so generous to share your materials for many years. Your knowledge of the proficiency-based world is amazing, as is the quality of your work. I’ll continue to be a big fan and thank you again for everything!

    Reply
    1. sally

      Félicitations, Lisa! You’ve been such an inspiration! And THANK YOU – merci mille fois for having so generously shared your resources, your time and your reflection on such engaging units!! I have two questions for you:
      1) if I save a copy of one of your google slide documents (unit agendas), will the links within them also stop working after a certain date? Should I go within them and save all of those as well?

      2) I really want your thoughts on curriculum. In my school we have worked hard to create a new curriculum over the past couple of years, following ACTFL The Keys, etc. It’s been good and i feel the students can certainly do much more than what they could in year’s past without performance based practice and assessments. BUT… here’s the big question I have: we have now seemed to completely pigeon hole our curriculum into FOUR super strict units per year, per level. Basically, we “think” we’ve gotten it down to a “science” of a uber-organized system of learning. As a result, I find, it has left us with very little wiggle room and/or freedom in the classroom to teach what’s current, or what we’re passionate about! This leaves zero time for a fun, quick 3-day unit on noël, say; or an 8-day unit on the November terrorist attacks when they occurred or elections when they come up!

      What are your thoughts on that? my gut tells me that, as teachers, we should seek out units we’re passionate about creating and that are (obviously) appropriately targeted to the level we’re teaching. And of course, if preferred, we could stick to the “established curriculum” but shouldn’t their be a balance? How do you propose having the best of both worlds?

      thank you so much! I’d be so grateful for your insight.

      Reply
      1. madameshepard Post author

        Hi, Sally I think you ask some great questions! As for the Google Slides, unfortunately each individual document, as well as the Slides must be saved. How I wish I had know when I started creating materials on my school account that I would be leaving two years later! The good news is that I’ve been working on recreating the agendas and linked documents and have noted on each blog post when it has been updated. I’m working backwards and think I’ve recreated everything from 2018. I’ll keep working this summer and hope to finish with everything before I lose access to that account (I’m not sure exactly when that will be, but I hope to have a few months.) It sounds like your school has been working really hard and are experiencing great success. It’s somewhat difficult for me to give you a good answer to your second question, though. I have usually been the only French teacher or the only one who taught the courses I was teaching, so I had a lot of flexibility. I was always able to spend a few days on a holiday or current event and doing so exposed my students to vocabulary that they might not have learned from the planned curriculum. I’m sorry that you don’t feel that you have this flexibility, could you talk to your colleagues about building in a little wiggle room? Good luck and let me know if I can do anything to help! Lisa

        Reply
        1. sally

          Thank you for the prompt reply! I have been saving lots of resources using “new link”, so will check back periodically as you update. Thanks again – so grateful for all you share.

          On the other question – I do think we all would probably appreciate and benefit from knowing we have flexibility in curriculum. It’s really no different than a district-adopted textbook, where teachers use, lose, tweak, curriculum within. Ultimately I think we all want what’s most effective and engaging for students as well as what’s most fulfilling and inspiring for the teachers.

          Another shout out of gratitude to you, on this note – for sharing the limitless range of topics for possible units for the study of Francophone cultures!

          Reply
  6. Christine Jones

    I am so happy for you and so sad for us! You have been an inspiration in my teaching career! Enjoy your grandsons!

    Reply
  7. Kathryn Garrison

    Lisa,

    I cannot thank you enough for the AMAZING blog and work that you have done! You have made me a better teacher. I am in awe with your ability to make some wonderful, wonderful units. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!!

    I wish you all the best as you enter this new phase in your life with your family and your business.

    Warmly,
    Kathryn

    Reply
  8. suzanne coonley

    Please do continue your work. I love your ideas and insights. I reitred once and now back to teaching at age 67. But I think next year may be my last. I applaud you for starting a business of your own. Bon courage. Look forward to hearing from you next year. I will have a challenging year with French 4 and would appreciate help from you.

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      I am definitely keeping my options and might end up back in the classroom at some point. Let me know how I can help with your 4s!

      Reply
  9. Cécile

    Félicitations et bonne chance dans ce nouveau chapitre! J’ajoute mes sincères remerciements pour votre généreux partage et fantastique inspiration que vous nous avez donnés…je vous suis, comme beaucoup, éternellement reconnaissante pour les heures de recherche épargnées, le trésor de leçons et activités que présente votre blog! Je me languis de voir vos nouvelles trouvailles et idées, et continuerai à vous suivre sur ce site!

    Reply
  10. Holly Hammerle

    How wonderful! You are such an inspiration to me and I look forward to collaborating with you in the future!

    Reply
  11. veronique liska

    Bonne chance et felicitations! Vous avez été une grande source d’inspiration pour moi!

    Reply
  12. Jessica

    Félicitations!!!! You have donated so much to the French teaching community with this blog. I can’t thank you enough for all you have shared with the world, and I mean that most sincerely. My goal over the summer is to comb through your blog in its entirety! I will need to copy your many units to make sure I have access to them! Thank you again, and I hope you will consider offering workshops to teachers who want to deepen their teaching for proficiency. I would be the first to sign up!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      I would love to provide a workshop for you and your colleagues! Please contact me on my website and we can set something up! It’s shepardwlconsultant.com

      Reply
  13. Jane Law

    Merci mille fois pour votre générosité. You have saved my life on many an occasion!
    Best wishes in your new endeavors.

    Reply
  14. Clarice

    I can only echo the words of those who have already posted. Your work has been such an inspiration to me as a French teacher! Merci encore pour tout ce que vous avez fait pour moi et les autres! I am also working on saving all of your resources! Bon courage for your new chapter and I really hope to attend a workshop with you at some point.

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Thank you so much for your kind words–I’d love to meet you at a workshop! If your district is interested in professional development, feel free to contact me at shepardwlconsultant.com Have a great summer!

      Reply
  15. Elizabeth

    I just found this blog last summer through AP training. You have given me materials that were priceless as I strive to create a more authentic class with authentic materials without burning out since I have 5 preps. Your blog and the lessons you have shared have reinvigorated me and my class. Your building blocks have been eye opening and great examples of resources! Thank you! I’m thrilled for you as a grandma myself, I know the joy this phase will bring you! Best wishes!!!

    Reply
  16. Sally Barstow

    Mme Shepard: I only discovered you last year, but have gained so much in understanding how to construct a good lesson. Thank you so much for your generosity!! I’m so happy you will have time for grandchildren and that you will continue to be involved in the World Language community. Please let us know how we can follow your pursuits from here!

    Reply
  17. Ellie

    Chere Madame,

    I moved to high school French this year after teaching elementary ESL. Your website has been a huge help and inspiration for me this year. Your resources and explanations have helped me become a better teacher. I have used your materials and tried to create others in the same style. As I develop and grow in my teaching I hope to give back to language teachers community the way that you have so generously. Thank you for all you have done to advance the French teaching profession!

    Reply
  18. Charlize W.

    Mme,
    I truly appreciate all you have done for your students. From your time in Ohio to our school district in Missouri, many kids have felt YOUR appreciation for teaching, learning, and love for the French language. I cannot imagine my sophomore year of French being any different. Of course, there were difficult times and setbacks, but I am so glad you were there with us through it all. I hope your next step in life and beyond goes amazingly well.
    Merci!

    Reply
  19. Megan Cunningham

    I cannot thank you enough for all of your hard work and generosity for running this blog. I just finished up my first year teaching, and your units and metacognition in regards to proficiency-based teaching + assessment has helped me grow as an educator. I was feeling completely overwhelmed (for many reasons) at the beginning of the year, but being able to use your units and IPAs as a reference for where I wanted to take my classes was such a lifesaver. Good luck in your next adventure!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Thanks Megan and félicitations on finishing your first year. Keep in touch as you continue your work!

      Reply
  20. Jacqueline Cowen Salmeron

    Thank you so much for you tenure and service to the French teacher community! I personally found your blog recently in my own transition to a proficiency based classroom! I LOVE your resources and especially your IPAs, that is still the tough part for me. I am saving as much as I can and with your permission would love to share this with my colleagues in my District. I would love to request your consulting services in our district for PD on how to write IPAs – this is a huge district focus that we started in February of this past year (2018). Enjoy your grand-babies and again, thank you for this blog!

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Jacqueline. I’m so glad that you’ve found some resources here that you can use! Please feel free to share my resources with your colleagues and if I can be of service, feel free to contact me at lisashepardwlc@gmail to schedule a workshop on IPAs. In the meantime, have a great summer and I’ll look forward to hearing from you! Lisa

      Reply
  21. Denise

    Bonjour Madame!

    I’m so sorry to read this news as I just discovered your blog this month! 😦 You have done such an amazing job at creating meaningful language acquisition and fun lessons for students. I am in awe of all you have done and how willing you have been to share!
    I am now scrambling to gather as much of it as possible for my French I courses next year. 🙂 In your notes, you’ve talked about how you used canvas in the last year you taught French I. Do you by any chance still have access to that? If so, would you be willing to share it with me? Here is a link that explains how:
    https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-12785
    It won’t give me access to any student data or records, just the course content. Merci beaucoup!

    I wish you all the best in your future endeavors and time with your family. 🙂

    Reply
    1. madameshepard Post author

      Hi, Denise I’m so sorry but I no longer have access to that Canvas account. If I can be of help in any other way, please let me know! Lisa

      Reply
      1. Denise

        Thank you so much for your reply! I knew it was a long shot 🙂 I’ve been working like crazy to adapt/create materials for your French I units to fill in where it wasn’t possible to share material/games. Everything you have done is so incredible and it is truly wonderful how willing you are to share everything. I’m so sorry I won’t be able to give back to you with your future plans, but if there are any other teachers looking for some help with the Level 1 stuff, I am happy to share! You’re an inspiration 🙂

        Reply
  22. Marie Victor

    Bonjour Madame,

    Merci d’avoir eu la bonté de partager avec nous vos lessons. We all really appreciated it. Je vous souhaite beaucoup de success dans vos entreprises. futures. Que le Dieu de Paix soit avec vous.

    Reply
  23. sally

    Hello, Mme!
    Quick question: Can you send a link of your podcast from last Spring (?) with Laura Terrill? I recall something in there about a recommended timeline of assessments? Am I remembering that correctly? I’d like to listen to it again to clarify my memory!

    Something about Interpretive: weeks 2-3-4; and Presentational week 3-4?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  24. Christine

    Bonjour Madame.
    You have been an inspiration to not only your lucky students who have had you as their guide, but also to SO many teachers of world languages as you have mentored us towards more effective proficiency based instruction. Thank you for that and for modeling for us by sharing your materials and hard work! I greatly appreciate your generosity!! I wish you all the best in your “new beginnings” and adventures to come. Thank you for maintaining your helpful site as it is a constant source of resources, insight, ideas, and motivation.
    Best of luck and thank you again!

    Reply

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