Teacher of the Month – June 2015 – Judy Dubois

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16 thoughts on “Teacher of the Month – June 2015 – Judy Dubois”

  1. I’m glad to be the first to congratulate, dear Judy. If you were not there, in France, our situation over here in Europe would be much different. I cannot add much to Sabrina’s or Lynnette’s words. You are such a kind and generous person. I appreciate every minute I spent in your workshops and in your house with your family. Give my regards to all of them, especially to Daniel and your husband. I’m looking forward to Agen in July!

  2. Congrats Judy! I am very happy that I have met both you and Daniel. You have been sharing great things with the world ever since I first was involved in the CI world.
    This year I couldn’t make it to Agen but it is my goal for next summer. You are an inspiration to US all!!!

  3. Congratulations Judy! I am so glad to have met you at iFLT last summer, and I am also glad that you and Teri mentioned the Agen Conference to me – very much looking forward to it!

  4. Like so many, I met you, Judy, here on the PLC. I have learned so much from you and I am thrilled to be able to attend your conference in Agen and to get to spend more time with you in person. See you soon. You too, Daniel!

  5. Oh, my gosh! I can’t believe this has been up here for days without me seeing it! Oh, my gosh, Ben. Thank you, but I really don’t feel very articulate right now. Just amazed at the kind things you and Sabrina and Lynnette and Martin and the others said. Thank you all for your kind thoughts.
    For the record, I discovered TPRS through a wonderful teacher from Macomb, Illinois, Jeff Moore. We had organized an exchange with his school and my students came back saying, “He doesn’t teach lessons. He just chats with his students … in French … all hour.” When Jeff’s students came to our school one came into my advanced class and had a discussion with them … in French. I was surprised that he could hold up his end of the conversation and it was obvious that he was more comfortable in French than my students were in English. So I asked Jeff about his brilliant student and discovered he was in French II and was flunking everything but French.
    So I got curious and wanted to know more about TPRS and Jeff introduced me to Lynnette and the next time I went to the States I attended a workshop in St. Louis and learned an amazing amount of Swedish …. and so on. I was able to get Karen Rowan and Lynnette to come to our lycée and do demonstrations. My French colleagues picked up some good teaching practices, such as circling, but didn’t buy the blue chimpanzees.
    I kept tryng to work it in, and, to be honest, would probably have given it up if it wasn’t for Ben’s book, TPRS in a Year. It helped me see where all the pieces fit together and how I could gradually master the skills I needed, one at a time. If I “get CI” it’s because of you, Ben, and your books. Thanks to them I gradually realized that it’s all about trust. Trusting the method, trusting your students and trusting yourself. (Just like riding is all about trusting your horse and trusting yourself.) And when the French administration took the date that’s written on my birth certificate very literally, I wasn’t ready to retire. So I started tutoring and have been having a ball ever since.
    And I thought, what if we tried to do a workshop right here in Agen? And Teri Wiechart believed it could be done and said she’d help, and Lynnette came along too, and so did Alike Last. Then Martin Anders believed in us and signed up, as did a former colleague, and that first year we had 15 wonderful people come to Agen. Last year there were 25 and this year we have 40 enrolled. I’ve been to three NTPRS and to iFLT last year in Colorado, and they are great conferences. Agen is different because everyone gets to know everyone and people come from quite different backgrounds and have so much experience and wisdom to share. We have long lunch hours, partly so people can enjoy the great French food, but also to let people have the time to exchange their ideas and share their impressiosns.
    And also for the record, I was a Navy brat, so have lived all over the States, wherever there’s a naval station. My parents were from southern Illinois and in my senior year in high school my dad retired and we settled in Canton, Missouri, where I go “home” when I’m in the States.
    I’ll have to add a few words about Daniel. He discovered that he really enjoyed teaching and managed to learn Breton and get a job teaching Breton. I kept telling him to look into TPRS, but he lives in Brittany and it’s hard to be convincing over the telephone. On his own, he was working in role-playing games and doing things that were basically CI, but he didn’t really believe that his mother could have much to teach him. But he did come to our first workshop and was a true believer by the end of it. (Thank you, Teri!)
    I’m very touched by your kind words, Ben. Especially when I think of the other wonderful teachers that you have honored with the “Teacher of the Month” title. Now I’ll have to work hard to live up to it.

  6. Interesting teaching history you have, Judy! Congrats on the designation. I greatly appreciate your regular presence and insight perspective. This analogy of teaching to horse-riding is an intriguing one.

    1. Thank you, Sean. I know it hasn’t always been easy for you and I so admire your courage. When I discovered TPRS I had a secure position with a reputation of being a good teacher. So as long as the kids felt they were learning, I was able to close my door and do my own thing. I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to go against the opinions of colleagues and the administration the way you and others have.

  7. Teri Wiechart

    Like so many others, I met Judy online. I was so impressed with her wisdom and her clear way of articulating teaching with CI. We finally met at NTPRS in Minnesota–but didn’t get to know each other very well. I then got to coach her in Chicago. I had never coached an English teacher before. I learned so much about how to teach FRENCH from coaching her in English. The problems I had were the same as she had but ‘backwards.’
    It was so exciting that she wanted to try a workshop in France. With her vision and my experience at organizing workshops, I was ready to try it. That first, small, intimate workshop in 2013 was so amazing. We started talking about 2014 and 2015 and . . . . I can’t wait to see old friends, and make new ones.
    Judy, you so deserve this award and these words. I am so honored to have you as a friend, and I look forward to so many more years of helping you bring TCI to Europe.

  8. Well-deserved honor indeed. Thanks Judy for being a bright flower in Europe, where it doesn’t seem to be too accepted. That has to be a challenge of confidence and bravery in its own, akin to working in a building where people are openly against how you teach.
    One of the best articles I’ve ever read, about childhood literacy and the labels given to later-blooming flowers (it seems I have flowers on my mind… they’re blooming all over here in Iowa!). It’s on her blog. I highly recommend it. I always enjoy meandering over to Judy’s blog and reading what she’s written.
    I look forward to seeing you at future conferences, as well as Daniel.

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