Andrew sent us his bio:
Hello, my name is Andrew Edwards. I live in Lincoln, Nebraska but teach in a different city. This is my second year teaching Spanish and my first year teaching with TPRS. I taught using traditional methods and a textbook last year. It was a mess. I drove myself nuts trying to come up with a bunch of activities to fill up 90 minutes every day and was really frustrated with the lack of comprehension and my lack of L2 use in the classroom. A doctoral student in my methods class at the university demonstrated TPRS and I really thought it made sense but really had no idea how to get started. I went to a TPRS workshop presented by Blaine Ray this last June and it was a really great experience. He definitely made it look a lot easier than it really is for the rest of us. This year has been tough and stressful. I still drive myself a little nuts but I feel pretty good about how my Spanish 1 classes are going. Most kids are enjoying the process and I have been using jGR to keep everyone in check. I also teach Spanish 3 but I don’t use TPRS because I don’t have the resources nor the time to “prepare” them for the standardized exams I have to give. This really cramps my style but I am 1 of 6 foreign language teachers and really only one other teacher sees the value in what I’m trying to do. I feel like a couple of them perceive me as a nuisance since I have questioned the purpose of 100 multiple choice, fill in the blank, or, what amounts to a glorified spelling tests insisting on beginners to produce a foreign language with 100% accuracy. I really have no idea how things will play out with my Spanish 1 kids. My biggest fear is that they will go into a traditional Spanish 2 class and be lost, thus, adding fuel to the fire against teaching the way we do. Be that as it may, I have no plans of stopping what I’m doing because it feels right. The kids are listening to and interacting with me in Spanish every single day and I really don’t see the point in anything else. I definitely have a long way to go and am so grateful to have found this PLC. The wealth of knowledge at my fingertips can be a little overwhelming at times but I just keep reminding myself that this is a marathon and not a sprint.
3 thoughts on “Andrew Edwards”
Welcome, Andrew. I like what you wrote “this is a marathon and not a sprint”–we all need to remember that. Maybe things will work out and you can have those Spanish I kids again next year. I hope so!
Welcome Andrew. Just remember you are doing the right thing. Even the AP test has changed and is more aligned with the TPRS curriculum in the sense that it tests acquisition and ridiculous grammar that most native speakers do not understand let alone a second (or more) language learner. How can we expect the majority to learn the TL by speaking in L1? You are doing the right thing. Carol Gabb has a few Spanish 3 readers that are GREAT and would really benefit your students. This way you can be giving them a little of both worlds.
Great! Thank you for the info.