Speaker 1: OTAN, Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.

Patricia: Good morning. A good afternoon, everyone. It's always a challenge because we are last but definitely not least. And I'm really excited to see some of our team members here. So I'm going to go ahead and start to give you what we've been working on, Bijal and I, during this year.

Here's is our team members, I am the ESL program supervisor and membership in the leadership team. Bijal?

BIJAL Hello, everyone. My name is Bijal Varia. And I am the advanced ESL Teacher at the Santa Clara Adult Education, as well as, I do like to call myself a proud DLACer now. Yay! This is my 20th year as a teacher and my second year as an ESL teacher in the adult education.

A huge shout out to all the OTAN and DLAC team members, starting with Francisca, who is our coach and has continued to share her expertise with us throughout the IDEAL 101 training. Destiny, you have been an incredible coach and we have continued towards the advancement and implementation of our pilot plan with your constructive feedback through guidance and abundant resources. So thank, you thank you a lot.

Neda and Penny, you are the backbone of the DLAC program. And thank you for your ongoing support, trainings and assistance throughout our training. Dr. Porter, what can we say? All the tanning's under you have been highly motivating and has helped us make a strong collaborative dream team to work with. A huge and a had thank you.

We love our collaboration with Case and Pittsburgh, and they are a perfect example of a strong DLAC team, sharing the best teaching and leading practices. So, thank you.

We wouldn't have made it if it wasn't our own team, Santa Clara Adult Education. They say, "True leaders don't create followers, they create more leaders." And this quote defines our school administrative team members, Carrie Catso, our principal and Christine Berdienski, who's our program administrator and Patricia Pottorff Croghan, who's our ESL supervisor, who have made this fantastic ESL team which resulted in a strong teamwork, which allowed some common teachers to achieve some super uncommon results.

Patricia: So, I just want to tell you that the mission of Santa Clara Adult Education is to empower adults of all ages and abilities to succeed at an ever-changing world. Whoa, we did not know how much that was going to impact this year during the pandemic.

But anyway the mission of our school, Santa Clara Adult Education, is to empower adults of all ages and abilities to succeed in an ever-changing world, that has really come to light during this pandemic. Ever-changing world was a great thought. And it sounded so well when-- I'm sure that they wrote the mission, but look at what has happened in the last year, not only the world has been changing, but I believe the face of education has just taken that next step. And it's really exciting to be in this type of situation where we can work with the cutting edge of how to mold this.

I want to tell you a little bit, I will focus only on the ESL Program. Pre-pandemic, we served about 760 students. Pandemic, we have served about 590. So we have lost students. But to give you a little background, when I first came on board last year, well, actually it was in 2019, the fall of 2019, teachers were using all hard copy, student books, workbooks, and the teachers as well were using that, none of them were using the online presentations, presentation plus inventures, the equity of five mornings of class for the morning students and three evenings at 2.5 hours, we've now changed that.

And we have provided, we've changed that. We can dance the morning to three days a week. And then that fourth day on the Monday morning, we have made time for teacher collaboration and that has proved invaluable with all of this going on in our world.

The development and implementation of our ESL program. We just had it very general. Our ESL vision has been to implement a strong, sustainable, and a progressive blended learning program that is student centered and outcome driven. The beauty is, is that and it wasn't all instigated by Bijal and I, nor the DLAC team. The whole school now, technology is an integral component in all of the school's endeavors. We're thinking like a 21st century school and seeing where we can go and that synergy is alive and well and it becomes very exciting and very thoughtful.

The DLAC team has designed, created, implemented, modeled, I could just go on and on. But they have helped us in knowing and having the knowledge of the different types of classes that could be offered and verbiage and all sorts of things and how those programs could work.

And so, we really want to make sure that we send a shout out to Francisca and case and Pittsburgh, because every week they've supported us in a Wednesday meeting and we have had some wonderful professional collaboration during that time.

DLAC has opened doors to us regarding what is the state of the art education in our new world, what is the cutting edge, and have challenged us and guided us to not only obtain something, but to go beyond. And in my mind that has been the true model of what teaching is, it's a guided teaching. And then allowing the collaborations, individual strengths, and the modeling to go beyond. Bijal?

Bijal: Accomplishments that we've made in the past year are divided into four main areas, material development, acquisitions, fiscal resource redistribution, strength based school. Material development, this year we've been really successful in developing a structure that helped us make a pathway for a successful blended learning program. Some of the areas that really stood out for us was incorporating technology in our ESL planning, teaching, and assessment process that helped and will continue to help our students progress and advance in building their technological skills according to their learning abilities, incorporating their personal learning goals.

We have developed student students contracts for our ESL classes, as well as a lot of data was collected by creating surveys in different areas of teaching and learning to provide our students and teachers with equity and opportunity to be a partner in their own learning.

This year our program is going to explore the digital formats which are current, modern, and most importantly, identify and relate to individual teaching and learning styles. Our pilot is to implement Canvas in our ESL program. And we look forward to teaching and assist our students to make a huge progress in leveling up their skills both in learning English and technology.

Patricia: Acquired skills, this is a big one. We've had a lot of personal growth. A lot of it, shout out to you Dr. Porter, not trying to butter you up or anything, but we have had such beauty in knowing our own strengths, looking at building a strength based team, we've had leadership training, presentation training, planning, organizational training, and many more. This is supposed to be a 10 to 15 minute, but I'm just going to give you an overview, so thanks.

We've had a lot of team building and growth and communication skills that were highlighted. We've looked at marketing and recruiting and how to really target those populations we need to target. We've had focused strategic planning of building a program and then implementing it. And then I repeat again, Dr. Porter, strengths, leadership, communication skills, and all those workshops were invaluable to us and to our team because we were able to bring those things forth. And Penny, a shout out to you for accessibility online. And I'm loving that we are now reaching a larger audience.

Bijal: Team building. No one can whistle a symphony, it takes a whole orchestra to play it. And I guess everyone's going to agree with that. We've had this fantastic opportunity to have our Monday morning collaborations for our ESL teachers which helped in the development of planning, teaching assessments, teacher professional development, training each other with our tech strategies and skills drawing out on our strengths of our team members. Once again thank you Dr. Porter. Also it leads to empowering team to take ownership and maintain the climate of the team, as well as off the program, and to take gradual realistic and strategic steps in blended learning program implementation.

We've set our meeting norms which encourage all of our team members to be honest, be respectful to each other's opinion, and yet be very constructive with our feedback for each other. We are also working on problem solving strategies, where if we have a problem within the team or if something is not working, we want to offer the problem with a possible solution to the admin to be able to find a constructive solution. Patricia?

Patricia: Yeah. Sorry, I was switching sides. The culture that we have created in the ESL program. It's a new culture. And it's a productive, positive, strength-based culture. Some of the things we have tried to highlight during this time. It's OK to experiment with the new, experimentation is the key. It's not, "I have to go in and do it perfectly," it will be OK.

Learn from our failures or what we perceive as our failures, I call it our challenges. Learn from the team. we've always got the team to support us no matter what. And if our team can't support us, we'll reach out to whoever we need to in order to get those things accomplished. To be freely to reach out and ask for help, and realize that when you're asking for help, it's not a shortcoming that you're having, it's not you, it's new, it's learning. We're learning as our students are learning and if we don't ask then we're going to miss out on something. And don't do it with hesitation, just throw it out there.

The other thing especially during the pandemic I have learned, is that change comes with time. Little tiny baby steps, and then once they start taking those steps they begin to walk a little faster, and then they're running, and then you can't keep up with your own team. Change is not easy. To me when we are changing, we are learning, and we are growing. If we don't have uneasiness, then we're stagnant, we're dissatisfied with our job, with our team, and everything else.

We try to say we support, and do, we support and help each other. We encourage positivity, we assume good intentions, we have set meeting norms that we all look at and are posted on all of our agendas. And one of the things that I have tried to instill is, individual responsibility for team and school climate, that they have a choice, they can have a choice and they can direct, are they going to have a vibrant team or are they going to have a team where everybody's dissatisfied. And so that individual choice is very, very important.

And then last but not least, to reflect and look this energy that our team is doing and is having with the collaborations and with all of these things in place. Conflict, we've been using. active listening, we've been addressing the conflict right away, addressing challenges within the team, and assuming everybody has a positive Intention even though they may not have phrased it in that way and especially during the pandemic. Just a little bit more patience with everybody. Everybody has been emotional during this year and to just really have patience and assume good.

Bijal: Patricia, we only have a couple of more minutes left.

Patricia: Thank you. Communication skills, praising, active listening, body posturing, direct communication, transparency, and communication. We have really worked on using the strength based program with the team and it involves all of these things. And I believe that has come from a training that we have taken with Dr. Porter.

Bijal: Challenges and barriers, some significant challenges to blended learning models include, the expense of technology, inadequate training, technological issues, the need to adapt content for blended learning, decreased motivation, and teacher and student anxiety. But the silver lining in the pandemic was that we were able to escalate and overcome most of these challenges as we learned not to limit the challenge but to challenge our limit through this.

Patricia: Change. Oh, we have change, curriculum, fiscal resources, professional development, material, website.

Bijal: Curriculum. In addition to our ventures, curriculum, we have successfully implemented technology and thanks to pandemic, we as a school have aced at using the Google Classroom, and are looking forward to make a gradual transition to pilot Canvas for our ESL program.

Patricia: We've had an exuberant amount of professional development at this time, due to the pandemic. Next steps, we have a lot of work left to do, and just when we think we're about over it, then we see new directions that we want to take. Considerations, we still have lot to take into consideration, human and fiscal resources, among the most.

In summary, I am so privileged. We ran a little long, any questions?