Changes In Membership

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22 thoughts on “Changes In Membership”

  1. Ben,
    When any enterprise grows, it is important not to lose sight of the mission. I agree that the cost is minimal considering the benefits that you get, professionally, psychologically, etc. I am fortunate to get reimbursement from my school for this membership. However, I am sure there are teachers out there who spend so much of their own money on their classrooms and students, that they don’t really have anything left. As a paying member, I fully support free membership for the teachers who are in such circumstances.
    Privacy: I would really like to see the development a secure online location where we could post videos and guarantee that no one else besides list members can see it. I will not be able to get my school’s permission to post anything until I can offer them some sort of demonstrable guarantee of privacy.
    Thanks for everything
    John

    1. I do too John but I want fairness as well. If somebody honestly can’t afford it they can contact me. But what happened was the opposite. If I don’t do this now we are going to get way inflated with way too many people and I won’t do that with this group.

  2. Hi Ben,
    You wrote “I want to make sure we continue to have the intimate feel of a close knit group. I will be monitoring this carefully. ”
    I like the idea of bios and wondered if your intention was to share those? We will become closer if we can “meet” each other. That would help some be willing to take more risks.
    Thank you for the upfront, candid and open communication. And Thank you for ALL you continue to do..
    Skip

    1. Yes, Skip there is a category called Group Members wehre we can get to know each other, but only about 20 people sent in bios. At this time, without changes, we will be the size of the listserve in a year and look what happened to them.

    2. And Skip, reflecting on what you said here:
      …we will become closer if we can “meet” each other….
      That is the core of the thing. We could talk for a long time and not get to a more accurate description of this whole weird attempt to use the internet to learn TPRS than that one sentence right there. That is the sentence that fuels my vision for our work together. And yet a fraction of the people on this blog have even provided bios.

  3. I understand the reasoning behind these decisions. I appreciate the fact that you offered a free membership to those who needed it. I know it helped me, given a pay freeze (and being at the bottom of the payscale) plus higher health insurance costs. This blog has been a great help to me and I appreciate being able to be a part of it, thanks again! Good luck to everybody on your TPRS journey.

  4. Hi Ben,
    Where would you like us to post our bio? I guess I have been lurking long enough and I am ready to jump on in! I have really enjoyed reading and learning from everyone here. Now I’d like to feel a part of 🙂
    Louisa

  5. Maybe we could have a link for all of the bios so we can reference them as we read one another’s posts. I know I would feel more comfortable sharing if I had a better idea of who I was sharing with.

    1. Andrea – are you in Portland? I am flying in for a couple of days. Wanna have a visitor? I am on vacation (year ’round school) so thought I might watch a TPRSer 🙂

    2. …I would feel more comfortable sharing if I had a better idea of who I was sharing with….
      Andrea – this reflects what Skip said that I really glommed on to as a kind of core thought about this whole thing and in particular about the two key issues of privacy and group size. Trust me, I’m not sending my kids to college with the income from this blog. I just absolutely refuse to let this thing turn amorphous. And I absolutely need colleagues who are on fire with this stuff like Michele Whaley and Bryce and so many on this blog. Like you, I totally have to feel that I know the members on a personal level to the extent possible. A good example is that I feel like I know Drew from his posts and video. Now there is a colleague I can trust. Not all of us can post, some are just too busy like Naomi, and some have John’s stipulations. That is all fine and I really don’t want to send a message that the vidoes are de rigueur. But I think that the bios are, as you indicate here Andrea, required. By the way, I can’t tell you how much respect I have for you getting into teaching French without full command of it and I get it how TPRS can allow that. I speak almost no Spanish but was able to pull off a number of 9 week exploratories when I taught in middle school, almost exclusively because of a word wall I had up there. That’s where the One Word Images and the Word Chunk Team activity came from. I was learning Spanish! I still remember looking up at that ass-saving wall and wondering what the hell I was doing in there trying to teach Spanish. And then there was the time an AP observed me and after class a kid came up to me when I was standing next to her and asked how to say onion. Hell, I didn’t know, which raised the eyebrow of the AP. Good Lord, what we go through in this profession!

  6. I really appreciate this blog, Ben and I support the direction you are taking here. I feel like this group gives me the support and help that I need day-to-day as I face the challenges of the classroom. The feeling of the blog has changed with the tighter membership–more trust and more ability to share openly without feeling like I need to defend every single assertion. there is time for lengthy, thoughtful replies and discussions versus the short “just do this” blurbs and bumper sticker slogans I read elsewhere.
    Keep up the good work. Appreciate you, brother.

  7. Hey Ben, I will write my bio ASAP. Feel free to kick my ass off this blog if it’s not behaving itself. And I’m still working on the video thing, the suits here (or “suites” as we call them, since they are all female, as a French teacher you should appreciate that) are a little freaked out by the idea. I’ve been asked to demonstrate the benefit to myself and my students, fair enough, but also to document for my principal how the videotaping fits in with my professional goals. That would also be fair enough, if anyone else in the school were being asked to produce professional goals, which they are not.
    Anyway I am down with all of the changes, you have my full support, and thank you for everything.

    1. Anne, of course you could react to your administrator enthusiastically. “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify my professional goals. It will help me a lot to put that down on paper. I know you are just getting started on having the whole faculty do this because it’s so beneficial. Are you planning to use mine as a template? Is there a particular format you want? May I share at the next faculty meeting how much your new requirement is helping me?”
      Did I ever tell you that I can be devious?

  8. ha ha Robert! You must have been a very good pupil in your schooling days… or very bad, depending on your ability to act.
    Thanks for this service Ben, it is very valuable.
    So how many members are there now if you don’t mind me asking?

    1. Right on, Robert. Meet force with force. Anne open up a can of Whoop Ass on this guy. We can help you write the clarification on the use of video so that he shuts up on that topic. There is a statement in the new multi-million dollar teacher assessment document that we are using in Colorado – the LEAP document that has been legislated by the state and not the state’s department of education – that we can quote from, which either encourages or maybe even requires, I can’t remember which, the collection of videos to be shared among colleagues as part of this process that kicks in this year with 96% of the schools in Denver Public Schools involved. The text from that document will serve as a start. Why do this alone when we can do it together? Yes, adopt the stance of the Chevalier de l’Ouest. It is the right way to go. I will get in touch with Diana Noonan on this tomorrow and get you that statement on the value of videos in not just language teaching, but in all fields of instruction.

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