It’s been an incredibly blessed summer of learning TPRS – four total weeks of learning, one in June and then a blitz these past three weeks. In June, I got to be a part of a Denver Public Schools foreign language curriculum design team that is aggressively taking the district not only in the direction of TPRS but also in the direction of reading aligned with Krashen, with a special focus on backwards design. I will never forget being awakened early by those little Colorado zephyrs on crisp June mornings and riding my Klein Aura V all the way down along the Platte River to those meetings, reminded all the way of what the publisher of the Denver Post said years ago that it is a privilege to live in Colorado. That started things out in June. Then, a mid-summer dream, I got to hang around Fluency Fast and watch Jason and Linda teach Spanish and Mandarin, then going out in the evenings with some great people like Brian Barabe and Jim Tripp and and Byron Despresberry and Vera Burdick, strolling around in that neat Highland section of Denver overlooking the city, having ice cream by the big ice cream churn and loving life. I got to find out what a true human being Stephen Krashen is, sensing, in between his words and great anecdotes, that his motivation in doing what he does is not just an academic one but one that stems from a deep love of humanity. But then, the next week, there was more! I got to go to NTPRS, driving down to San Antonio and getting to know even better yet another great, vastly read, colleague in Bryce Hedstrom. That was last week – the week where I learned a lot of do’s and don’ts about presenting and met eight very special people like Joey Embro from Atlanta and Carol Jean Lewis-Zavala from Austin who taught me yet again that the essential is invisible and that one only teaches well with the heart. As if that wasn’t enough, back here in Denver this week, Diana Noonan, the DPS foreign language coordinator, had organized a World Language Institute for DPS teachers on TPRS. Yesterday I got to see Annick Chen of Lincoln High rock the house with her particularly lighthearted and slow version of TPRS – talk about totally comprehensible Mandarin! – and today I get to go learn from Leslie Davison and Noah Geisel and Annick and Amy about technology and then get another shot at presenting what can only be called the Circling with Balls magic, and it goes on and on. Not only that, also yesterday, Karen Rowan taught some of us how to coach new people and it totally worked. I was able to see how SLOW is and must remain by far and away the key skill of TPRS, and how pacing our delivery of the language must be our main focus as we teach, a very useful thing to learn for a person like me who has a tendency, shall we say, to wander. Looking back, I have been most fortunate this summer, and I am thankful for all in the TPRS community who, in spite of their fears and doubts, continue to show up with courage every day for the rest of us, letting absolutely no form of professional or personal fear get in the way of sharing this method with others because they feel and sense and see that this method has clear and irrefutable potential in spite of all opposition to shake the world of education off of its very foundations, and thus help kids in a way that no method ever has. Thank you, Colorado and Diana and Karen and Dr. Krashen and Blaine and Von, and of course my teacher, Susan Gross, the real source of so many ideas that we now take for granted as standard in the method, and everyone else who is now going full blast with even greater professional intensity to make a difference in the lives of, already, tens of thousands, and soon to be millions, of children in the world. My prayer as a teacher has always been that children suffer less, and, for the first time in my life, I can feel, as another crisp and cool and beautiful Colorado morning prepares to unveil itself in all its splendor in just a few hours, that I am part of a group of people who are working together to actually get that done. How odd that, when I was young, I thought that teaching was just a job!