We can just relax when it comes time to teach an actual class, after studying so hard about this stuff. It’s time to get TPRS out of our minds and into our bodies. Just get a verb from CWB or from a story script or from wherever. (I did some CWB today and it still rocks the house at this time of year – especially using where and with whom and repeating the student’s name over and over and over and don’t think they aren’t listening).
Now that you have a verb, what more do you need? Run with it. But to run far, you have to relax. Just include that verb in every single sentence you say. Let your students’ cute answers impress you. Find the humor in what they say. Slow down. Pause. Laugh. You are not a teacher, you are a sharer of mirth. You are a person who asks questions and appreciates kids.
Target verbs. Sure. If you want. But what if you just allowed verbs to work their own way in? I just see what comes up (CWB) and then see what comes up, and after we have vortexed that first verb into the ground, ground it down in mirth, I grab the nearest verb and do the same thing. I whisper to the verb, “Here! You are going to work in my classroom! Come on! It’s fun!” and drag it into the vortex.
I know Susie has said it a million times, but we do really have to listen to what our students offer us in class. We can’t pretend to listen. It means so much to them when we do that. And they pick up on whether our interest is genunine or not. They can tell. They wait, sometimes all day or all year, for authentic interaction with their teachers, we who mean so much more to them than we can ever know, as they wait….wait…..for some validation.
Why say this in a post on freak flags? Because freaks are tbe best listeners sometimes. They’re not fake. They are looking for something new. Be a freak. Find out new things. Don’t get crusehd beneath the wheel of, “Now I have to teach this power verb, or that verb from the novel!” or “Oh, no, what if I don’t teach it and they can’t read the novel? Be a freak. Just do it. Be a freak. And for goodness sake freakin’ relax.