Focus on Strengths: Coaching for Growth

Is it truly possible for educators to use feedback to develop skills that may be missing or does attention to weakness hinder true professional growth? In this online workshop discover and try out strategies for giving feedback that focuses on strengths making it possible for educators to recognize and build on skills that are present. Begin by identifying what needs to be in place for educators to be able to deliver quality instruction by analyzing criteria identified in the Planning and Performance and Feedback domains of the Teacher Effectiveness for Language Learning (TELL) Framework. Consider what constitutes effective feedback. Use the TELL framework and observation tools to analyze evidence from classroom observations. Develop the ability to comment in terms of your reactions to what was observed while allowing educators to plan their next steps for growth.

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM (ET)
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM (CT)
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM (MT)
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM (PT)

Registration is extremely limited in order to personalize the learning.

15 hours

Participants will receive a professional development certificate for 15 hours.

The institute is an online professional learning experiences. You agree to participate each week in all learning activities.

The institute will use Zoom for all synchronous learning activities. You will need to make sure to have a computer with a functioning web camera, microphone and headsets.

The institute will use Catalyst to share all institute information including daily zoom links. You will receive an invitation to join a private group on Catalyst prior to the start of the institute. 

institute facilitatorsthomas sauer & laura terrill


Thomas Sauer is the Co-Director of Professionals in Education Advancing Research and Language Learning (PEARLL), and Assistant Director of Resource Development at the National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) at the University of Maryland.

Since joining the NFLC in 2017, Thomas has been responsible for the identification, development, and design of resources to support the NFLC mission and programs, projects, and initiatives. Thomas collaborates with the STARTALK program and the PEARLL resource center to develop long-term goals and identify shorter-term initiatives to meet those goals. In this capacity, he directs the work of the STARTALK resource team in developing materials for applicants, program directors, team leaders, consultants, and staff.

Before joining the PEARLL and the NFLC, Thomas was an independent consultant and world language specialist for several urban school systems. He has taught German at the University of Kentucky, Georgetown College, the Kentucky Institute for International Studies, and Kentucky Educational Television, and he previously served on the board of directors of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and as president of the Kentucky World Language Association. He also served on the boards of the National Association of District Supervisors of Foreign Languages and the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Laura Terrill

Laura Terrill is a national consultant who currently serves as the Senior Associate for Professional Development for the National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) at the University of Maryland.

Laura holds a BA in French from the University of Missouri — St. Louis and a MA in Secondary Administration from Northeast Missouri State University. She taught French at all levels for 21 years before becoming the Coordinator of Foreign Language and English as a Second Language and then, Director of Curriculum.  She has taught methods courses in St. Louis and in Indianapolis and continues to present at the local, state, regional and national levels. She has served on the Board of Directors for Central States and ACTFL. She is the recipient of the Founders Award for Central States, has been named as the NADSFL District Supervisor of the Year and has received the ACTFL Florence Steiner Award for Leadership. She recently co-authored the Second Edition of ACTFL Keys to Planning for Learning: Effective Curriculum, Unit and Lesson Design.