Dr. Straits & Ms. Quiñonez Present at Dual Language Conference
Last week, upper school counselor Brenda Quiñonez and Director of Equity, Community, and Culture Kee Straits presented at La Cosecha—the largest dual language conference in the nation.
Their presentation, titled Bridging Cultural Humility and Language in School Communities, highlighted the historical and present-day uniqueness of New Mexico's educational needs and how to become conduits of change to meet those needs. Their presentation centered on educational practices that go beyond cultural competence at the individual, interpersonal, and systems levels. Through a “hearts-on” workshop that involved experiential activities and interactive exercises, they helped attendees explore introspective awareness.
“The presentation was really well-received!” said Dr. Straits. “What I loved most was that our presentation was bilingual and utilized translanguaging, so participants were able to engage in Spanish and English.” She continued, “People really took to heart a self-analysis of their own biases in regard to language use and expression, and skin color hierarchies.”
Ms. Quiñonez reflected, “The highlight for me was the receptiveness of the group in suspending what we think we know, how we have been trained and conditioned to think, in the spirit of lifelong learning and humility. Participants were eager to return to their school communities to effect change at an individual and system level.”
The well-renowned conference took on a hybrid format this year that allowed several of our other Spanish-teaching staffulty members to attend as well, including Rafael Martínez de Leon, Maria Clara Rekow, and Cascade Lineback. Spanish Department Leader Señora Lineback noted, “The highlight was being able to interact with Spanish teachers from around the country and chat about relevant themes to our classes.”