This is the month when New Year’s resolutions are grasped with intensity and then discarded with quiet disappointment. Yet hope seems to re-sprout with each new beginning, whether that of a school year, a budget cycle, calendar year or sports season. Recently I have discarded my lifelong focus on outcomes. I had become a slave to… Read More What can teachers really control?
Before our December holiday break, I created my first student task based on Comprehensible Input (a method of second language acquisition). Tasks, a new (to me!) vehicle for language acquisition came out of the workshops I attended at ACTFL in Boston last November. (See previous post about putting 2016 ACTFL resolutions to good use). The… Read More Who knew that 4 of their teachers spoke French!
Smiles today from a normally blasé group of 8th graders. Thank you Dr. Bill VanPatten! Recently at the ACTFL 2016 conference in Boston, I made a beeline for all the sessions focused on proficiency via comprehensible input. Many peer-reviewed studies in SLA (second language acquisition) over the past 30 years have shown that explicit language (grammar)… Read More Putting 2016 ACTFL sessions to good use
Having attended the recent annual conference of foreign language practitioners and researchers, And having been rejuvenated through workshops and conversations with colleagues and presenters, And having been given a charter to work with middle school students this current year I pledge the following: To honor my students by maximizing our time together with the goal… Read More ACTFL 2016-inspired resolutions
Every teacher thinks that his or her class equips students the most for life in the 21st century. I’m here to make the case for how acquiring a 2nd language can transform the life of not only the student but those the student serves, later during his or her productive years of work and service. I don’t doubt that quadratic equations, literary analysis… Read More Wanna make the world a better place?
I HATE bombing a class. The cognitive dissonance between reality and how I like to think of myself as a teacher hurts. But once my bruised ego has recovered, a pearl usually emerges. Either a lesson or a new idea. On Fridays I like to plan something a bit lighter for my classes. It’s a pleasant… Read More Best lessons from failures
Vibrant sounds of active kids fill the hallways. A new school year resumes. Year 25 for me! When I began teaching, I didn’t even think about the future. There was no time. Novice and experienced teachers alike have precious few minutes to reflect much beyond the term once they step into the flow of the… Read More Happy to be back in the saddle