Scripps Middle School Spanish teacher Melissa Dalton is setting a new standard.
As one of the most respected teachers in the field, Dalton presented for over three hours on Oct. 13 at the Michigan World Language Association conference in Lansing.
There were nearly 600 language educators at the conference and Dalton presented to a group of at least 20 in the Governor’s Room at the Lansing Center.
“We were very happy with the initial feedback from participants,” Dalton said. “Many late nights and extra days on prep for this since mid-summer. The topic was ‘The Zen Classroom and Keeping Class in Target Language 90%.’”
Always a trendsetter, Dalton experimented by conducting the 3 ½ hour presentation entirely in Spanish.
“To our knowledge, it's the first workshop of its kind,” said Dalton, Oakland Schools World Language Leadership Team CSCTFL Teacher of the Year 2017. “We thought it was important to conduct the workshop in Spanish if that was what we were advocating. We brought in a mindfulness expert to do a 10-minute session in Spanish. We then ran through a typical Scripps immersion lesson using theme and content for teachers' area of interest so they could experience what the students feel in an engaging lesson.”
Not only was she spreading her teaching philosophy, she was sharing and promoting the virtues and skills she has developed in Lake Orion Community Schools, specifically at Scripps.
“I am very appreciative of our collaborative climate at the Best Middle School in the World,” she said. “We are very fortunate! Many thanks to (Scripps principal) Dan Haas for inspiring great work ethic at Scripps, he really keeps things running smoothly so we can focus on being the best teachers possible.”
Dalton’s next step is on a national stage.
She is one of five national finalists for the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language National Language Teacher of the Year.
She will present her portfolio, video and interview at the AFCTFL November conference in Nashville, Tenn., vying for the award.