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Things are gearing up for What's Your Next Step? Trainer Prep and Presenter Retreat 2020! Applications are turning into registrations and people are making travel plans. We are excited to have a couple of alumni returning as well. (Did you know alumni can return to Trainer Prep in subsequent years and pay only the cost of lodging?) Their experience and perspective will help keep the week running smoothly so we all can make the most of our time together. Preparations continue and anticipation is building. So is our appreciation for you:

...to those who have already registered and paid. Your confidence in us, in the recommendations of past participants, and in the potential for what great minds thinking together can do fills us with joy and optimism about our time with you in June.

...to you who have contacted us to say you're still working on funding. We understand that summer PD is a big commitment of capital, whether yours or your school’s. Please keep us posted. We want to help make it work. If that means paying over time, we'll come up with a plan.

...to all who’ve let us know that you're still wrestling with the calendar, to see how you'll spend your hard-earned summer time ‘off’. We know that there are many options competing for your time, including an embarrassment of CI-focused riches for teachers. Not every successful teacher feels the need to tell or teach others about what they do. But for those who have that itch, Trainer Prep and the Presenter Retreat represent an unusual opportunity for you to share and reflect on why we do what we do and how to make it accessible and appealing to others.

...to those who’ve told us that you're still negotiating with family, to see how you can best share yourself and your time between them and professional experiences that will make you a happier spouse, parent, teacher. Here too, there are many voices vying for your attention.

...to those friends who have told us that this year is not the right time, that they're waiting for What's Your Next Step? 2021. They may not be receiving this email, but we thank them too, for letting us know about their continued interest. Thank you all!


If you got a chance to read the participant feedback we shared last month, you have learned about the space where we'll live and work together in Jamestown RI. And perhaps you've already guessed which dimension this newsletter highlights— It's about...


TIME!


Trainer Prep and the new Presenter Retreat bring together a group of 20 adults for 3-6 days of intensive learning. In late June, most of us have just barely finished the school year. It’s summer. We are excited to be with colleagues and away from responsibilities at home and at school. And we bring 20 different sets of experiences, learning styles, and goals for our time together. So, getting the schedule just right for everyone is a challenge. Here’s what we’ve come up with:


During the three days of Trainer Prep, the four 90-minute sessions each day will be structured combinations of presentation; group, partner, and individual activities; reflection and feedback; and practice. The 2-day Presenter Retreat will follow a similar overall schedule, with groups and individuals choosing how to make the most of every chunk of the day.  For both groups, the evening is intentionally left open, knowing that some will want to continue discussions, some will want to practice and coach, some will want to write and reflect quietly, some will want to play games or do a puzzle, and some will need to get a good night's sleep!


Here are a few timely reflections about the pace and schedule from Trainer Prep participants in previous years:


Having time to do Tai Chi in morning or take a run really helped me to have a moment apart and create space in my head.

I'm grateful that the sessions begin and end organically with plenty of time during the day to take care of personal needs and allow for relaxation, conversation, and processing of all that we are learning.

The longer lunch break was really nice. Honestly, the time flew by. That says a lot about the content and the organization of the day.

Mindfulness breaks, Yay! These enhance our work by hitting 'reset'. They integrate everything we do, since they allow processing of information.

I thought the pacing was good, enough breaks and activities to keep the flow going without too much lecture or down time.



Will you make time for What's Your Next Step? in 2020?

We will have rolling admission until we're full. Please, please, please don't leave your decision until it's too late! When all 20 beds are claimed, registration will be closed.


So... What's your next step?

If you are ready to apply for What's Your Next Step? 2020, here is the application.

Click here for more details about the course, schedule, lodging, application, etc.

Click here to see the 2019 video [N.B. with last year's dates] showing scenes from the training in previous years. Stay tuned for our 2020 video currently in production!

If you are thinking about it but are not ready to apply, do nothing! We’ll continue to send updates to this mailing list until the course has filled (limit 18 participants). We hope to see you in June! Anny & Kirstin Whats-Your-Next-Step.org


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Have you thought about Your Next Step in 2020? Have Trainer Prep and the new Presenter Retreat entered your thinking yet? They are certainly on our minds. Kirstin and Anny Zoom regularly to talk about our activities on either side of the Atlantic, and we always ending up planning the next steps for our shared time with you in Jamestown, RI in June. Applications have begun to come in for both the What’s Your Next Step? Trainer Prep intensive Course and the What’s Your Next Step? Presenter Retreat. Another talented group is taking shape. We hope that you will be part of it this year. If you did not receive our December e-maiI introducing this year’s re-imagined training, read it here. If you are still exploring, here's more about the week: The Trainer Prep Course changes from year to year, as Anny and Kirstin’s experiences training teachers provide new insights. Inevitably, we reach many of the same insights while training very different groups of teachers on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Here’s what has resulted: This year’s condensed 3-day intensive Course focuses on understanding principles that guide the way we share information with others; the essential elements of comprehension-based communicative language teaching; and the most effective components of an information exchange, from an elevator pitch to a 5-day training. Each year's group has its own personality and brings its own talents, interests, and needs to the gathering. Will you bring yours this year?



Those who stay for the Presenter Retreat have specific goals to work on during two days of reflection, planning, and creation. In a retreat atmosphere of loosely scheduled planning, meals, and community time, we create on our own or with a chosen team/partner each day: perhaps coming together for short mini-sessions on topics of shared interest, perhaps working in separate spaces all day, perhaps forming into groups to share and get feedback on what we are creating.  Come as a team to work on a collaborative project. Come on your own to develop an idea by yourself, in an atmosphere of collegial support. Encourage a co-presenter to attend the Trainer Prep course with you, then work together at Presenter Retreat. There are lots of possibilities. We’ll set the format for the Retreat in the first hour, then proceed from there. Do you have a project to pursue, among friends, at Altamira, in June? To apply for the Trainer Prep Course or Course+Retreat, just fill out the application form.




The What’s Your Next Step? experience:

Living together at Altamira adds a depth to the training experience that can only come from learning and sharing in community. A group of 18 may seem small for professional development; it can also seem large for a group of relative strangers in a shared living space. Past participants represent both introverts and extroverts in their reflections about the location:


"I love the setting of a house. It really builds community: cooking/cleaning, assembling, eating, moving together. Just the space we need to be cozy, not enough to feel marginalized; and since many of us don't work together, that is important."


"I'm not used to living with so many people and so it is key to be able to go off and think or chat with one person (this was also great at midday break)."


I"'m really happy to be in close quarters with the other participants, and it's so homey and comfortable. Having separate spaces for each activity is also beneficial."


"I loved having the many different spaces for activities. Kind of like a story with 3 locations, it helped to set some of the information to link it to locations. Also, the ocean view is so calming for me. The porch is just awesome."



What's your next step?

If you are ready to apply for Trainer Prep 2020, here is the application.

Click here for more details about the course, schedule, lodging, application, etc.

Click here to see the 2019 video [N.B. with last year's dates] showing scenes from the training in previous years. We hope to see you in June! Anny & Kirstin

Whats-Your-Next-Step.org

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Updated: Dec 20, 2019

We are finally ready to share news about next June's Trainer Prep course for experienced input-based language teachers! And we have some exciting changes to tell you about.

First of all, we've decided to create a new entity that represents the work Anny and Kirstin do together, rather than as a sideline to our separate work with Dynamic Language Learning (Kirstin, in the Netherlands) and Altamira Language Learning (Anny, in the Philadelphia Tri-state area). Introducing What's Your Next Step? where we will focus on working with teachers who are ready to move to another level. We will be launching our new website soon, so stay tuned.


As one of our next steps, we've reimagined Trainer Prep as two shorter programs: 

UPDATED! A three-day intensive Course that focuses on the heart of the Trainer Prep experience: principles to guide our training, essential elements of teaching for acquisition, and key components of a training 'event'.


NEW! a two-day Presenter Retreat for those who are ready to get down to business, planning and practicing your own workshop or presentation, either alone or with a partner or team, in an atmosphere of collegial support and shared purpose. The Presenter Retreat is open to 'graduates' of the Trainer Prep course.


Here's the nitty-gritty:

Trainer Prep intensive 3-day course: June 21-24, 2020 ($675, 4 nights lodging included: arrive Saturday evening, leave Wednesday morning)

2-day Presenter Retreat: June 24-26, 2020 ($300, 2 nights lodging included: arrive Wednesday midday, leave Friday afternoon)

Both programs combined: Sat evening-Friday afternoon ($950, 6 nights lodging included)

But maybe you aren't yet sure what it is we're offering. See more here, and here:

In the work we (Kirstin Plante and Anny Ewing) do as presenters, mentors, coaches, and trainers for language teachers, we see teachers come into the training context from many different starting points and along many different paths. Since there is no single “way” to approach teaching with comprehensible input, we need to be agile as coaches and trainers. That’s why we have organized these programs in Jamestown, Rhode Island. That's why we'd love to have you join us!


This training was born in 2015 in the Netherlands and Anny and Kirstin have been facilitating it together in the States since 2016. In that time, we've assembled a growing and broadening cohort of comprehension-based communicative language teachers, presenters, coaches, teacher leaders, and aspiring trainers to share and reflect on why we do what we do and how to make it accessible and appealing to others.

Each year’s group has its own personality and the week’s agenda is adapted to your talents, interests, and needs.


Last year the Trainer Prep course did not run, and instead we hosted our first Alumni Weekend. That group of teacher leaders, who had already experienced 5 days of learning together in previous years’ Trainer Prep courses, was able to troubleshoot, problem solve, and advise each other with a shared background and a well-tuned sense of purpose.

That Alumni Weekend was the precursor and inspiration for this year's Presenter Retreat, which will again be driven by the interests and needs of the people in attendance, with a focus on creating or designing our own training 'events' during the two-day retreat. 

For us, getting together with dedicated teachers ready to take the next step is part trainer development, part teacher revitalization, part professional networking, and part 'family' reunion. As Kirstin and Anny guide the week’s activities, we learn and grow as much as anyone.


So, what should you do next?

If you are ready to apply for Trainer Prep 2020, here is the application.

Click here for more details about the course, schedule, lodging, application, etc.

Click here to see the 2019 video [N.B. with last year's dates] showing scenes from the training in previous years.

If you are thinking about it but are not ready to apply, do nothing! We’ll continue to send updates to this mailing list until the course has filled (limit 18 participants).

We hope to see you in June! Anny & Kirstin


If you know anyone else we should send an invitation to, please have them join the mailing list here.


If you are interested in having us offer the Trainer Prep course in Europe, let us know here.

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ABOUT US >

What's your next step? represents the work Anny Ewing and Kirstin Plante do together, in addition to our separate work with Dynamic Language Learning (Kirstin, in the Netherlands) and Altamira Language Learning (Anny, in the Philadelphia tri-state area).

As What's Your Next Step?, we focus on working with teachers who are ready to move to another level.

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CONTACT

In the US:

Anny Ewing

2211 Eagle Farms Road

Chester Springs, PA  19425-3725 

USA
Email: WhatsYourNextStep@altamira.com 

In Europe:

Kirstin Plante

Molengouw 36
1151CJ Broek in Waterland
The Netherlands
Email: kirstin@dynamiclanguagelearning.com

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