Angie Dodd

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12 thoughts on “Angie Dodd”

  1. Angie, I am SO sorry it didn’t work out. It was so GREAT to meet you at the Maine Conference! We were (and still ARE) rooting for you in this. It *IS* difficult, but even moreso when you are with kids who just push and push and push! Why don’t you keep on substituting, and perhaps a TPRS school will have a position open in the future!! Please stay in touch — I have SO MUCH faith in you and what you are capable of!!! 🙂
    ~~Mary Beth (MB from Maine)

  2. Hey Angie,
    I totally feel your pain. It is excruciating to invest so much of yourself only to get kicked down again and again. After having read some of your posts and then meeting you in person in Maine, I think you are wise to step back. I don’t consider this giving up because you have to protect yourself. I remember you talked about some very severe anxiety that is uncharacteristic for you. It is good that you heed the messages your body sends you.

    Something else will definitely present itself because it is clear that you are a passionate, skilled, caring person. I think there are tons of possibilities to combine your passion for farming and your language skills. These are both skills that are needed urgently in this world at this time. Not that I know exactly what these opportunities might be, but I just have a sense that there are places in the world where this particular combination of skills is needed and appreciated. Please keep us posted, because my hubby (who also fell in love with farming) and I are, in a way, in a similar situation. Stay focused on things that nurture and energize you. Hard to do when the shit is constantly hitting the fan, but that is our practice, right?

    Hey, if you don’t have your weekend booked, consider coming to the Connecting for Change conference in New Bedford MA for a day or two or three. It is tomorrow through Sunday and it’s a great place to get inspired and to meet tons of people who are making a difference by tuning in to what makes their hearts sing. There are cool speakers, rockin’ music, interactive workshops, and most importantly, hundreds of folks of all ages infused with positive energy and badassery. I always come away from this weekend recharged. Check out the website I will be there with a group of students tomorrow and Saturday 🙂

  3. Sabrina Janczak


    I second what MaryBeth said and I am terribly sorry things didn’t work out for you . After I met you in Maine, I just thought you were a very articulated, bright and warm young person ( wow you don’t look in your early 40’s!) who would become a terrific teacher, and I was really hoping you would go back, but I m sure you did the right thing for you, and you are probably better off at least for now. I have been thinking about you and was wondering what you were doing, so thank you for sending your bio. I wish you much luck in all your future endeavors, whether in teaching or not.
    Keep in touch.

  4. Angie, your story is heart-breaking. Perhaps, if you have another opprotunity to teach (part time?) you could ask to start with level ones. And read up on classroom discipline, here and in Fred Jones and the Love and Logic books and Alfie Kohn. Find what suits you, what works for you. jGR should be a help. Few people who are not in the teaching profession realize how difficult it is to stand in a room full of adolescents and get them to work with you. I’ve found that you have to be very honest with yourself, because if you’re not they’ll find the contradictions and use them against you. And you have to respect them in a way that allows them to respect you. I think Susie Gross talked about the 3 R’s. Students need to respect the teacher, respect each other and respect themselves. We all do.

  5. Angie:
    I’m glad you are on this PLC where you can get support from people who have been there. Teaching is brutal. As I mentioned in my bio, I teach at a small Christian school where I have incredible administrative support. Nevertheless, my first three years were tough, precisely because of what you experienced–kids who thought my way of teaching was inferior and beneath them. I was so tempted to give up on TPRS and so tired of fighting kids daily. But I so believed in what I was doing that I didn’t back down.

    It sounds like you were in a rougher situation that I was, as there were always some students who supported me, even in my worst years. Each group of students has its own personality and even in the same school a very tough group will come through one year and a very compliant group the next, etc. I’m sorry your first experience had to be with one of the tough crowds.

    Aside from the extreme group that you experienced, I’ve realized that there are only three years of memory in high school. If you can persevere through those three years, all the students who knew any other way of teaching will be gone. (Unless, of course, there are others teaching the same levels with the book–but at least then perhaps the resistent kids can switch sections.) Having students who (mostly) want to play the game has made teaching fun again for me.

    The advice you’ve gotten is great. Starting with Level 1 is good, as there are fewer prior expectations. Another thought for you–have you considered teaching elementary school Spanish? I know not all districts have elementary programs, but I spent my first 19 years in grades 1-8. Middle school can have the same adolescent issues as HS, but the early years are so incredibly sweet. It’s a great place to build your skills and confidence.

  6. Based on my experience, the best year for this stuff is 8th grade. 7th graders are a bit too young, and 9th graders can be just a bit on the wrong side of snotty. 10th graders can really suck, being 15, the hell year for them, and that is true whether they are in level 1 or level 2, but level 2 is the worst. I agree with Rita, teaching is brutal. Let’s just say it and quit acting like it isn’t.

    1. I used TPRS with all grades, though more TPR with grades 1-2. My very sweetest memories are of a combined grade 3-5 class. Those kids knew how to play the game, we conversed in Spanish, created crazy stories in Spanish and… I only saw them 30 minutes twice a week. You absolutely can use TPRS at those levels, because it is simply communication. And that is what all language classes should be about. With younger kids the topics are just different.

  7. for three years I went into a local primary school twice a week and taught three levels, ages 7-10. It was so much fun! and such a breath of fresh air after my days with teenagers+ at the lycée. The little ones can be a handful, but they’re spontaneous and they have this weird idea that learning languages is fun!

    1. Yes, and they really know how to play and be silly. When a teacher gives them a channel for using another language to play and pretend, they love it. When the kids are guidable (ex, stay in target language, don’t talk over others) it is AWESOME.

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