Le Tiers État

We pay attention to the administrators and ignore the parents. Why is this? I think it is a big mistake. Let’s talk about the parents briefly.
Yesterday, I met a highly educated and articulate parent who happens to be quite pissed off at years of lack of communication with administrators about what is best for her children in foreign languages. She seemed nothing short of shocked at the idea that there is a way to actually get great results with kids in language education.
Maybe we should team up with such people. Maybe we can work together with parents, which would be a real grass roots thing not impacted by politics, instead of this kind of fake working together with the administrators (who largely miss our point – some get it but, oh my, some miss the entire point of Dr. Krashen that as people in charge of curricula in schools they embarrass themselves to the level of stink).
I am going to ask this pissed off parent if she knows of anyone who would like to learn French.  Maybe we can make up a little group and meet weekly or bimonthly. When they learn French and feel the thrill of learning in this way, we can start talking with them about what is happening in our schools and to their kids.
I would rather find allies by proving what we do and then pointing them in the direction of the administrators and, once we get some buy-in from those parents into the concepts that Krashen has laid out so clearly, then maybe they will storm City Hall.
Some administrators scare me, like one who recently completely blew my 2/3 level proposal out of the water without even showing any understanding whatsover of the brilliance of the idea in terms of how it can impact the AG and align with our new CO state standards. (Laurie how about you – did it fly with your bosses?)
Maybe the parents are the Third Estate of our revolt.



3 thoughts on “Le Tiers État”

  1. Years ago at a Jason Fritz workshop, he said “Start an evening class one night a week. Invite parents and other teachers. Make it free, at least to start.”
    So we did. We had 40 people sign up that first term, so Jody took the teachers and I took the parents. It was the best thing we ever did in terms of PR.
    I continued after that term, but decided to charge a small fee because of all the work involved. I’m in my 5th year now, have a bunch of former parent-students who are sad to have had to stop because of schedules, and the TPRS method has a great reputation among a number of very influential parents in the school community.

  2. Hi Ben,
    Sorry to hear that admin. shot it down. I’ve been working for two weeks, not only to get in to discuss the idea, but also to get the office to get working on hiring for next year!!!!! I may set up camp outside the door….
    with love,

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