Jeff Underwood

Jeff sends an entertaining bio:
Hi Ben,
Here is my bio.  Have a nice weekend:
I work a lot.  I know the first couple of years are the toughest in any new subject area so I´m hoping that in a couple of years I´ll have mastered some of this and I won´t feel so consumed by my job.  I really want to travel more and I dream of splitting the teaching year with another Spanish teacher in order to be able to travel half the year.  Do you know if this is possible?  My other goal is to work more efficiently so I can maintain some sanity.  Lesson planning on the weekends is a buzz kill.
I´m a single, caucasian, 40 year old middle school Spanish teacher.  If I wasn´t teaching I´d be a park ranger (resource management) or a bee keeper.  I work in Los Angeles at Parras Middle School in the South Bay.  I enjoy an easy 3 mile bike ride along the beach to get to my school!  I taught middle school physical science for 3 years before leaving the profession to live in a small village in northwest Nicaragua.  I built a vacation home there and taught English to students and professionals in Chinandega.  How I landed a job teaching Spanish in a city of 4 million with a 50% latino/hispanic population remains a great mystery to me.  This is my second year teaching level 1 Spanish to 7th and 8th graders and an exploratory Spanish class to 6th graders.  The energy level at my school is high.
I find the work challenging and interesting.  Last year, being my first year, was a complete experiment.  I tried textbook based instruction and a little TPRS.  A friend and colleague says ¨if you´re not having fun, it´s not worth it.¨ I believe this, so I switched to a TPRS based system this year.  Ben Slavic´s blog has helped me a ton and I also like it because I´m the only foreign language teacher at my school; this cyber community gives me feedback and ideas since I don´t have colleagues with whom to collaborate.
I often feel like my job is similar to playing the arcade game,   Whac-a-Mole.  But I can equally relate to Slavic´s gladiator analogy.   Here is a nice quote from Charlemagne to end my bio:
To have another language is to possess a second soul.



Leave a Comment

  • Search

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Related Posts

The Problem with CI

Jeffrey Sachs was asked what the difference between people in Norway and in the U.S. was. He responded that people in Norway are happy and

CI and the Research (cont.)

Admins don’t actually read the research. They don’t have time. If or when they do read it, they do not really grasp it. How could

Research Question

I got a question: “Hi Ben, I am preparing some documents that support CI teaching to show my administrators. I looked through the blog and

We Have the Research

A teacher contacted me awhile back. She had been attacked about using CI from a team leader. I told her to get some research from



Subscribe to be a patron and get additional posts by Ben, along with live-streams, and monthly patron meetings!

Also each month, you will get a special coupon code to save 20% on any product once a month.

  • 20% coupon to anything in the store once a month
  • Access to monthly meetings with Ben
  • Access to exclusive Patreon posts by Ben
  • Access to livestreams by Ben