focusing on teacher strengthsprofessional learning for department chairs, instructional coaches, and district supervisors

The PEARLL Leadership Academy is an in-person professional learning opportunity designed for those educators who are seeking to build their leadership effectiveness. Academy participants will learn how to identify what needs to be in place for educators to be able to deliver quality instruction and consider what constitutes effective feedback. Through simulated observations and role-play, participants will learn to use the TELL framework and observation tools to analyze evidence from classroom observations. Join other educators to acquire new knowledge and skills to support teachers in your department, school, or district, collaborate to process new learning in small group discussions, and apply new skills as you prepare for the new school year.

How do we define teacher effectiveness for language learning?

Teachers collaborating on a poster board
Focus on Behaviors not Buzzwords

(Re)Discover core principles that guide effective language learning by prioritizing criteria and the underlying messages found in the  Teacher Effectiveness for Language Learning (TELL) Framework.

Observe Lessons

Participate in simulated classroom observations by analyzing prerecorded video lessons for elements of teacher effectiveness.

What role does effective feedback play in professional growth?

Practice Feedback Conversations

Rehearse, revise, review feedback conversations as you participate in a series of role-play activities to help you build your confidence in providing feedback.

Develop Feedback Tools

Review feedback protocols and create templates for use in your school or district to support the professional growth process of your teachers.

How can we leverage a strengths-based approach to coaching to support teachers?

Reframe Teacher Conversations

Discover simple processes that will change the focus of your conversations in your school or district. Learn how to reframe “tough” conversations to help move your teachers forward.

Connect with Other Teacher Leaders

Connect with others and benefit from time focused on your own professional goals with other educators who have responsibilities similar to yours.

what previous participants said

The session was transformative. There were a lot of opportunities to practice and apply our learning.

I plan to implement the different ideas of approaching teacher conversations about giving positive feedback.

Now that I have a more in depth understanding of the TELL tools, I will be more intentional in the way I use the tools to coach teachers.

I have already adapted Thomas’s slideshow of what an effective classroom looks like and sounds like. Loved that! I also want to adapt many of the observation and self-assessment protocols for our site.

The participants were treated as professionals. The facilitator created a culture of trust and respect. And the facilitator modeled behaviors for us by using strategies and methods that we can adopt for our own practice.

Group discussion was the most eye opening session for me, then feedback article and the chat/discussion with other colleagues. I will use those techniques with my teachers and colleagues to help them and myself to use better practices in the classroom.

academy facilitators

The PEARLL Leadership Academy is facilitated by experienced educators who have a demonstrated history of leadership as well as a passion for supporting other educators in identifying and reaching their own professional goals.

Katrina Griffin

Katrina Griffin is a German teacher and department chair at North County High School in Glen Burnie, Maryland.  She was named the ACTFL Teacher of the Year award in 2017 and received the ACTFL Leo Benardo Award for Innovation in K-12 Language Teaching in 2017. Katrina is also a founding member of the STEM magnet program at her high school, where she initiated an annual German STEM Immersion Day for local students and developed STEM resources for language teachers. She holds a Master’s degree in German from Middlebury College, a B.S. in Secondary Education from Bloomsburg University, and B.A. degrees in International Politics and German from Penn State University. Additionally, Katrina is an AP College Board Consultant, an AP German Community Moderator, and a workshop presenter and keynote speaker on topics such as proficiency-based language learning, student engagement strategies, and developing leadership skills.

Thomas Sauer

Thomas Sauer is the codirector of PEARLL, a Title VI language resource center at UMD, where he has facilitated face-to-face and online annual professional development for language teachers. He previously worked as an independent consultant and a K–12 world language specialist for several school systems in Kentucky. Thomas taught German at the University of Kentucky, Georgetown College, the Kentucky Institute for International Studies, and Kentucky Educational Television. He is a sought-after workshop facilitator, curriculum developer, and keynote speaker. He previously served as an instructional lead for several successful STARTALK teacher programs. Thomas holds an MA in instructional leadership and school administration from Bellarmine University.

academy location

The PEARLL Leadership Academy is an in-person event taking place at the offices of the National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. NFLC is located at 5600 Rivertech Court, Suite K, Riverdale, MD 20737.

Housing for the academy is the responsibility of participants and is not included in the registration fee. There are multiple hotels in the area, however we recommend making a reservation at the Cambria Hotel College Park. PEARLL will provide FREE shuttle transportation from the Cambria Hotel to the NFLC offices each day.

daily schedule

Academy activities will include presentations from national experts, small discussion groups to process new information, and simulations where participants will apply their learning in a low-stakes environment and receive feedback from their peers.

Day 1: July 12

8:00 AM –  4:00 PM

Details TBA



Day 2: July 13

8:00 AM –  4:00 PM

Details TBA

Day 3: July 14

8:00 AM –  12:00 PM

Details TBA


until June 30

Regular Registration

$319 $249

registration policy

– In order to personalize the learning for each participant, registration is limited to no more than 25 educators. 

– All participants must register online using the link above.

– Registrations will be accepted at the discounted $249 rate until May 15, 2023. From May 16 – June 30, the regular rate of $319 will apply. 

– Registration will close on June 30, 2023.

– All registrations must include payment via credit card. Registrations via purchase orders cannot be accepted by the University of Maryland.

–  PEARLL will confirm your academy registration upon receipt of full payment.

– All registrations are on a non-credit basis. A professional development certificate for 20 hours will be made available upon completion of all tasks at the end of the academy. 

cancellation policy

If you must cancel:

If a participant chooses to cancel their confirmed registration or does not attend the academy, the following refunds will apply:

– The registered participant may invite another person to substitute their place in the academy in which they are registered at any time at no charge;  
– If a cancellation request is received by June 30, 2023, a full refund will be offered; and 
–  If a cancellation request is received after June 30, 2023 no refund will be offered.

If PEARLL must cancel:

If PEARLL has not received sufficient confirmed registrations by June 30, 2023, the academy may be canceled. In the unlikely event that the academy is canceled, PEARLL will notify all confirmed participants immediately, and all participants will receive a full refund of the registration fee. Please note that PEARLL is not responsible for the cost of any non-refundable travel arrangements made by participants.