Doug sent this update on how things have been unfolding this year. His new coaching group in Orange County is, in my opinion, an example of how we need to proceed. Obviously, coaching groups at the building level are not going to happen with most of us:
Hey Ben,
I’ve been avoiding taking in new information the past two months.  After having Blaine in my classroom last year, going to NTPRS, and the coaching experience in Los Alamitos, I wanted to just concentrate on the new things I’d learned – let them work for me – and they have.  It has been an extraordinary year so far.  Although a lot of things have contributed (Blaine, the blog, NTPRS, etc.), you, Laurie and the others coaching help was key.  There is something very powerful in being able to walk through difficult points, and actually experience how to bring things together that I’d learned.  I’ve had more “home run” stories in the past two months than in the entire four years of TPRSing combined–and I’m not exaggerating.  My classes are more engaged – we’re having more fun – it really paid off.  I can’t thank you enough guy.  It isn’t perfect – I’ve still got a lot to learn, but it has gotten a whole lot easier and more fun.  I feel comfortable PQAing and continuing with it, but I can now flip to a story if the PQAing isn’t going anywhere – and I’m comfortable going to a story directly and PQAing through the story.  I am able to relax a whole lot more and take in the answers, honing in on the “cute” answer which has more energy/meat on it.  (I took your cue and am making a point of defining and waiting for the cute answer.)  And although I’m not an actor, I am getting the energy levels up using the ideas from that coaching experience – not settling for any less than I put into it – and using little gestures (oooh, aaaah) that can be played with during the story and tricks I’ve learned from Blaine.  I rarely do an oral story without an actor up within the first few minutes – and I haven’t used many props all year.  I can’t say enough about the importance of coaching – it gave me an opportunity to bring together all the other things I’d learned.  Several of us here in Orange County are creating a coaching group.  We are only three so far, but with time we’ll be getting more I’m sure.  If there’s anyone out there who is interested in joining, just let me know –



1 thought on “Coaching”

  1. Douglas,
    Can you walk us thru how this coaching actually works? Is it at a distance, or is there someone observing your tprs classes and giving feedback? Or are you observising someone model tprs teaching?
    When I started using drama in my EFL classes, I spent a great deal of time watching a great drama teacher at work in class. Then I just copied what he did until I found my own style. That’s the best way for me. Trouble is, there’s no-one around here I can observe. Video would be good. I’ve got Ben’s DVDs, but I teach college students, and it takes time and effort to extrapolate what works for Ben’s students to what might work for mine. Anyone out there teaching college students (beginner-pre-intermediate level) who’s willing to share their videoed classes, please get in touch. Thanks.

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