Major Ass Announcement

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59 thoughts on “Major Ass Announcement”

  1. I appreciate your perspective as you impart the things you have learned over your career. I am truly grateful to have found this community before I was placed in a school with old school department heads. I can now also see that though my current position brings certain frustrations, teaching at a continuation school has taught me that my relationship with students and my kindness towards them is more important than subject matter. Having students that don’t care about their studies helps put things in perspective and forces an honest look at what the truly meaningful part of our role as teachers is and as you have so eloquently stated here Ben, it isn’t necessarily teaching languages.

  2. Ben, has this use of English been an issue for you as you work in a department with colleagues perhaps more sensitive to the use of L1 during class time? In other words, Are your colleagues now being perceived by their students as more strict and less fun given the allowance of the L1 in your classes. (I ask because I recall an department-wide intervention earlier in the year regarding the 2 strikes rule.) Do you have ANY boundaries for the use of L1 or is the departure you have taken in this regard less than what it may appear from the post?

      1. Jim I think some of it has to do with moving from high school where the dynamics are so different than here in a middle school. where kids are just so naturally full of life (means haven’t had their interest totally crushed yet).

        The truest response I can think of and hopefully we can talk about this in the summer is that I feel that the kids and I have come to an agreement that when we play we play and when we work. Play meaning English fun and work meaning we stay in the TL because earlier this year I really powered down on the 10′ rule.

        So the shift is not away from learning. If you look at the vids you can see that we are not having an L1 party. In fact, I find that my new focus actually encourages more L2 use. It’s a question of focus during class. By focusing more on them as people as described above, we get more learning done.

        And no, nobody is talking in the hallway about how I use more English than Zach or Linda. We all do our own things. Zach is a natural TPRS force and he enjoys his kids – they are always happy and laughing. And we all know what Linda does. Man she puts the L2 hammer down!

        The thing for me is that I am finally realizing who I am in the classroom. I tried to be someone I wasn’t for all those years. Never a good idea. I made being smart everything. It made me nervous, is all it did. It’s not life and death, what I do in the classroom, what I can accomplish. Life isn’t what I thought it was. Like Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, I have changed. I see a bigger picture now.


          1. How Ben, this is huge. In your perspective, is this a sort of natural cycle that teachers go through after the years, trial etc… I know that I see teachers that have been in the career and I wonder if they were really thinking to be high achieving/hard on themselves and more or less taper off and become more student focused. I’ve seen the opposite as well, and I never like seeing that old bitter teacher who just yells and never smiles ( I had too many in my middle school days)

      2. Jim they don’t talk in L1 that much. The dynamic doesn’t involve them using more L1. It’s subtle. Love is subtle. It’s more in a look, a sense of kindness in one’s eyes, an acceptance of a child if they are not yet fully formed and all that. In one class we talked yesterday about examples when they had been shamed by teachers. How their teachers routinely say things to them like “You can do better than that!” Sophie. That stuff. I let them talk about it in class a little, not a lot. Stuff like that. Stuff about their lives. It must be done ever so carefully as I know nothing about counseling. But just more real stuff that I always shied away from. To let them know that they are important. Now my wish is to honor them. Honor them in all ways. Maybe they’ll learn some French. I don’t really care anymore.

        1. Ben, thank you for your candidness and honesty, as usual. Reading your response about the situation is helpful to understand the shift you are going through. I feel fortunate to be able to share the experience via your writing. I get caught up on logistical questions sometimes when I read a post like this. There’s a lot more to it that I may not be reading.

          I am having a couple difficult classes this year that lately I kind of dread when they come in the door, and my stubbornness isn’t helping the situation. Some of it has to do with a certain L2 rigidity during those 50 minutes no doubt. And a lot of it has to do with having 30 kids in one room who could give a shit less about acquiring another language and resent that they are stuck in a sterile building being judged the majority of their waking hours. A few resort to expressing their discontent and adolescent insecurity via meanness to their peers and teachers.

          It’s time for some rest for me. It looks like you’ll be heading to do the same. Best wishes to you on your Spring Break travels. Talk to you in a week or two.

          1. Jim, I got 1 class like that. I try not to dread it but I just express my expectations and talk to students right outside my room and tell them what I find disrespectful. Some of them interrupt my instruction with chants from kids songs in L1 or they just have side conversations as if I am not there. It’s a big class of 38 but about 4 or 5 students are steadily disrupting the class.

          2. Jim, YES: “a lot of it has to do with having 30 kids in one room who could give a shit less about acquiring another language and resent that they are stuck in a sterile building being judged the majority of their waking hours. A few resort to expressing their discontent and adolescent insecurity via meanness to their peers and teachers.”

            Steven: YES: “Some of them interrupt my instruction with chants from kids songs in L1 or they just have side conversations as if I am not there. It’s a big class of 38 but about 4 or 5 students are steadily disrupting the class.”

            Exactly. The dread I feel about certain classes seeps out to them. What you describe above, the stuck-ness, is real. And nobody (in the school universe) admits it. I catch myself daily in this ridigity. On some days, usually the ones following a particularly difficult day, a day where I am dreading even going to school, a day where I am so desperate I have no choice but to let go…sometimes those days allow me to drop everything I think I am supposed to do. Those days are the ones where I drop into whatever is happening and am able to catch a thread of connection. This week it was a kid who has actively resisted everything I offer. And just like that, when I pulled out my stuffed elephant, he said “my mom has a big papier mache elephant, and a bunch of little ones.” Full on English. And I perked up and followed with some questions…How big? Did she make them? What color? Etc. Because I was curious. He added that she has a zebra too. I am honestly intrigued, because this kid is a genius artist, and he is super aware of lots of things, fast processor, etc. And he proclaims himself to be an idiot. And stupid. As I recall this short interchange I don’t even remember if I was speaking Spanish or English. A lot of times it ends up with me asking in Spanish (not consciously) and the kids answering in English, but I don’t remember. All I remember is that kid for the first time dropping his guard a bit. And me dropping mine.

            The main theme that lights up for me in all of this is boundaries as it relates to compassion, empathy and respect. I’ve come to realize I ball up all of these things into a swamp–no boundaries to keep a flow. One of my friends posted this on Friday and I happened to see it just before school. It helped me a lot on that day.


          3. “I don’t even remember if I was speaking Spanish or English. A lot of times it ends up with me asking in Spanish (not consciously) and the kids answering in English, but I don’t remember. All I remember is that kid for the first time dropping his guard a bit. And me dropping mine.”

            That’s so beautiful.
            It’s that the compelling Krashen talks about. Where you’re so caught up in the message that you don’t realize what language you are speaking in?

            Today, I had a student so caught up in the story, he answered in his native language of Uzbek. Nobody else understood him, except that his eyes said he was following the story and sympathized with the character.

          4. I teach English as a Second Language in Tennessee. We have a lot of diversity in Knoxville, lots of refugees.

          5. leigh anne munoz


            I have your book of stories… and I find you so inspiring. Soooo…. I am always overanalyzing things in my own life, and sometimes others’ lives.

            Do you mind if I ask… what circumstances (admin decisions/state legislation/departmental dynamics, etc) have led to the mix of two groups of kids that don’t find you absolutely delightful? How did this happen that you get two classes of kids who don’t get that you are giving them an amazing gift?

            I can’t imagine anybody not loving your classes!

            –Leigh Anne in Ca

        2. Annemarie Orth

          I have a student in my 7th grade class who for awhile kept raising his hand to tell a story in English about something that was sort of related to what we were doing in Spanish. Finally, I told him a few weeks ago that he had to be more aware of all of the airtime he was taking up in class…I saw him deflate a bit. Then I told him he was allowed to tell one story in English per class. Another two students have now created a little chant in Spanish right as he’s about to tell the story..that goes something like…”a story, a story, a story by Julian!” The hard core TPRS’er in me doesn’t like that I let him do this because he’s speaking in English. But the community builder in me knows that it’s important to him and the class.

  3. Yeah, I need this right now for the kids. Every group has such different needs. I’m reminding myself A LOT lately to let go of the grip and to tune into what the current needs are.

    1. Joey you are fricking not going to believe this but in answering Laurie below I almost wrote – but didn’t because my answer was already too long – about our little debate from years ago. I was going to say, “Joe Diedzic and I used to have this argument about speaking English and engaging the kids as people back in DPS all the time and now I see he’s right.” Then I scroll up and there you wrote this. How cool! Yes Joey you win it. Final score is Dzietzic 1 and Slavic 0.

    1. Laurie can I address that with you this summer in France? The short answer is that I averaged about 12 kids in a class this year after teaching 35 per class for most of the 38 years I taught. I began to see my students more as individuals and not a bundle of minds to be trained so that I could show high scores and then people would love me.

      And these are children of diplomats and corporate managers living far from home with not much to relate to in a deadly toxic city, so they only have their homes and school to be in, literally, and so their need to connect with their teachers was so much more visible than at home where the kids have so much else to distract them, and who have been given permission by their beaten down teachers to slouch and text and all that, which these kids don’t dare do and if they did my 12 year old Classroom Rule chart would clear them up on that point every day.

      I see their need to connect with me in a different way. They don’t want to learn as much as they need to be acknowledged. So I give them jobs. (And then I go sit in a session at a conference and ____ tells the audience about the jobs as if they invented them and that makes me bitter can you tell?)

      Sorry. But yeah, this year so much more “taming” going on as per Le Petit Prince. The need we all have even old teachers to connect in friendship to other human beings. Being happy. Valuing learning for real. Lack of poverty, the Sword of Damocles over our country’s head – it’s not here in New Delhi. (That’s why I want Sean and Candice to leave Chicago Public Schools and experience the riches of the international scene, but maybe in a place that has real air.)

      The answer to your question involves refuting all those things that I thought could only come through my becoming an AP French badass. It involves all those things Susie taught me. You know. I never really got what Susie taught me until lately. I am a Taurus, a slow learner. I was wrong all those years. I put the work first and the relaxation second. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it wasn’t. Like the Scrooge thing.

      It’s just all the stuff you always say Laurie. I’ve just finally been able lay down my weapons and just walk away from the battlefield and not even care about the blows I have taken – you have too – as I walked off the field. All those slashings. They give one a new perspective.

      I now see my kids for what they are – as scared as I am and in no great need to be tested any more. I have given no tests or quizzes in at least seven weeks. Nobody mentions it. Nobody dares because when somebody important walks by my room and looks in they see happiness. For the first time, happiness.

      But no particular turning point, I don’t think. Just prayers of a lifetime being answered. Prayers made on bended knee in war zones with broken heart and I didn’t think they got answered because I wasn’t aware of any big dramatic change at the time of engagement (about five events of true teacher burn out and I don’t say that lightly) but being aware of the deep changes is apparently not how the universe works.

      I don’t get to choose the timing of the change of my life that no longer even belongs to me and I’m mostly not aware of how thihgs REALLY work so I guess that is the answer to your question, that I don’t know how this change occurred. This goes into a plaee that is hard to discuss, but it is certainly based in faith.

      That’s about all I have to say about it, but we can definitely pursue this in the summer. You are so right that we always walk by each other, for years now, at these conferences. This time we must stop and go grab lunch or something right then when we see each other. It’s not like we don’t have anything to talk about, given recent events.

      1. I wanted to ask that same question, Laurie, and I’m glad you did. I don’t have a friendship to launch that kind of question from and feel like I’m butting into a private conversation here, but it is public, eh? Obviously there’s a lot of history and a lot of pain that I know nothing about. I’m a new kid on the block, from Oregon.

        Thank you, Ben, for your transparency, as usual. I’ve gained so much wisdom from this PLC over the past year. Nearly every time I’ve checked in, you’ve reminded me that this whole struggle called “teaching” is all about connecting with the people in our classes in a way that they know that we know that they matter. I’m thinking your “lifetime of prayers” may have been answered in subtle ways along the path and that we only notice when we get to a certain point and look backwards.

        Your whole “announcement” has been a great reminder to me. One specific thing that you said in response to Laurie hit close to home for me. Simply the fact that you haven’t given a quiz in 7 weeks. As I thought about that, I realized that the simple practice of giving quizzes has created a gap between my students and myself. Lately I’ve been reminding myself to give quizzes at the end of class to “hold them accountable.” What I just realized is that I was kind of doing it as a “pay back” for those students who got distracted (by their difficult lives) somewhere along the lines of our story. My hope was that the quiz would remind them how important it is to pay attention in class, in reality it was a passive-aggressive revenge on my part. Of course this was all subtle and I didn’t realize it until I reflected your comments. My students seem to feel a bit betrayed when we’ve had a good time together in class, laughing and creating a story. Then I announce “una prueba, clase” and they look a little forlorn as they get out their pencils and switch to “regular school” mode. I’ve just decided that quizzes aren’t that important! I’m sure I can come up with a more relational way to invite the daydreamers back into our story-telling party.

        1. Lori, thank you for writing that very honest paragraph. It spoke to how I’ve been feeling lately about quizzes.

          Then I don’t do them for awhile and I get to doubting my grading system and sensing that some kids are unsure how they’re doing grade-wise. I’ve been getting more interpretive samples based on speed translations this year. I think it is more accurate (I think kids look at their neighbors quiz papers more than I know). But it rewards fast processors, unless I’m vigilant with myself about differentiation of grading which honestly I’m not happy with how I do with that.

          I’ll be at iFLT this summer. I really want to sit down and talk about grading with some other teachers. I’m looking for a better way to make kids feel successful while also guiding them into positive habits of language acquisition (and pleasing parents and admin). BVP is in favor of getting rid of grades for language classes. See Episode 4 of Tea with BVP.

          What I DO like about the end of class quick quiz… it puts the focus on the messages versus the language, holding them accountable for having followed the class discussion/story/reading versus having memorized a set of words or structures. What I DON’T like about them, exactly what Lori wrote.

          1. Jim, I’ve completely reimagined Quick Quizzes. Here’s a post w/ short video on that (

            The short of it is that I no longer care about holding them accountable for remembering everything that happened in class. Instead, the Quick Quiz is about understanding a projected text.

            It’s all smoke.

            The real deal is delivering CI; first as students read the text, and then as we “correct” the Quick Quizzes in the target language afterwards. The purpose for me now isn’t just to get a score into the gradebook (although that’s a bonus), it’s really to deliver more CI. Perhaps “Quick” is the wrong adjective now that I’ve changed the format, but it certainly takes up less time than the typical “quiz” in other classes.

          2. Hey Lance. I just watched your video about the QuickQuizzes, though my computer doesn’t have sound at the moment. I look forward to watching more of your videos when I get some time. Thanks for posting them! Anyways… I’ve always thought of the QuickQuizzes, more than anything, as a way to settle kids down and go to pen and pencil for some minutes. And for me to relax a bit too. I think with the projected text it becomes even more settling. Thanks.

        2. Lori, I appreciate how deeply you are able to look at your teaching and your motivations for the quizzes, and I relate to what you express here. I am also looking hard at that “revenge” mentality and working to change it. I get freaked out and feel like students are “getting away with too much”…but I, like you, want to get away from that kind of thinking. I know that I am building relationships, and I also know that we are building language systems, even though that is happening slowly. As long as it is happening, I refuse to be in a hurry. I do want to be an effective teacher. I do want a functional, working classroom. But Rome was not built in a day. I believe that I will get there. And in some ways, I am already there.

          1. Yes, Jim, there are certainly pros and cons to quizzes. For me it boils down to paying attention to the students, myself and the tone of my classes. I think that any of these brilliant “skills,” as Ben calls them, can become mechanical and impersonal if they’re used as a “method.” I believe that’s when we begin to “tear down Rome” rather building those relationships. I appreciate your reminder and analogy, Angie.

            I’m excited to back to school on Monday and look each one of my students in the eyes, welcome them back from Spring Break and have fun together.

  4. I feel that by allowing more English you can create better relationships and in the end students will work harder for you. I agree that our role is more about caring and being good role models for the students than teaching a language. Plus, when I am more relaxed and not on edge about what they should be learning, then everyone relaxes and we actually learn more. Go figure!

  5. I have a group of 13 students block 1 this semester. All 3 of my classes are small, at 13, 16 and 16. And since in Block 1 and 4 there are always people absent, it’s even smaller. Anyway, this block 1 group can get really chatty in L1, as Lance observed. I just sort of act as…what should I call it? I’m just constantly translating things into Spanish and doing comprehension checks and talking to them in Spanish while they respond in English. Yesterday I got cranky about it. I felt like it went too far. So when a kid walked in late with donuts for everybody, I said that we had to EARN a donut break. I set the timer for 15 minutes. No L1. I was in heaven. They were awesome. We chatted free-form and did L&D with slides I had prepared. The L2 was soaring. When the timer went off, I was so happy. I looked at them and said…wasn’t that great? And they were like….not really. One kid said, “that was hard.” I said, “The Spanish was hard?” and she said, “No, it was hard because there were things I wanted to say and I couldn’t say them.” Another kid said “The Spanish is not hard. I understand everything all the time anyway.” Now, I could be angry because they are so undisciplined. Or…..I could be happy because the Spanish feels easy and if they HAVE to use L2, I know that they CAN. Given the givens, I’m gonna go with choice B.

  6. Ben said above: “it’s almost like I’m finally calling bullshit on the high achieving teacher I used to be.”

    We language teachers love to spin theory in our heads. Often we do it in our classes, because we enjoy it, and we think this is what “learning” looks like. But when it comes to language, this is dead wrong. But how scary to let go of the pretense that what we teach is intellectual? My entire identity as a Latin teacher is built around this facade. But the ONLY way to put all learners on a level playing field (as someone mentioned recently, sorry I forget who), is to let go of that 4% stuff, both in our classroom and outside of our classroom. I don’t mean let’s avoid theory when it can help us. Rather, let’s check our 4%er tendencies to get caught up in the mental gymnastics for their own sake. We are that kind of person. We are not normal. Let’s not punish kids for being normal, that is, not giving a damn about the subjunctive, but all of whom are hoping to become something if only they could do what it might take to get there.

    1. This comment coincides with a thought I’ve been having as I write for this MS class I’m in. The idea of a level playing field and the achievement gap that rolls along year after year. I hated the way the really successful students in my classes were either the brainiacs that could get an A in a class about watching grass grow, and the native speakers that shouldn’t even be in the class to begin with. What a shame that that leaves 80% of students completely out of luck. I love knowing now that the students that will do the best in my classes are the ones that are normal, and genuine, and willing to be silly and sincere.

  7. Yes. Yes. Yes! My version of this is called “trust.” If my students don’t trust me, I really can’t teach them anything. Establishing and working on trust trumps all else. The human beings in the room are what we teach.

    Books are resources. Standards are guides. Assessments are check-ins on how well I am doing. We teach human beings.

  8. Feelin’ philosophical here-
    More and more, we reveal our anti-establishment identity here.
    Think how many posts have been dedicated to appeasing adminz, curriculum documents, evaluations, traditional colleagues, uninformed parents, recalcitrant students.
    We have stumbled upon and have expanded a way to humanize the classroom for the kids we serve. To focus on relationship, mutual respect and attention, courteous interactions, laughter & levity, creativity, engagement.
    On the one hand we want to swell our ranks and bring other veteran and new WL teachers into our paradise. On the other we want to protect our Garden of Eden by getting all the right onlookers’ boxes checked.
    I like to imagine a time when all the content disciplines can embrace the most basic and human relationship as their first and foremost priority.
    Lots of folks will claim that the kids ‘don’t need to like or even respect me – they just need to demonstrate mastery.’ I think that attitude is a big mistake (don’t forget my enormous glitter-encrusted rose-colored ELEMENTARY glasses). We won’t transform or reform our schools until 1. The socio-economic reality changes; 2. We as a profession are charged with, first and foremost, creating and maintaining safe classrooms and positive relationships.
    This is why I feel so fortunate to work with young children. In my district, anyway, the relationship is honored.

  9. I love this!!! I feel that this year i have finally given into relationship with my students. Having 280 students has done the same thing that having small classes has done to you Ben. Looking at a sea of faces makes things very difficult and lonely for me. IF i only care about teaching I have no true interaction with anyone all day. If I’m lonely in my school, I can only imagine how the students feel. I need relationship with them as much as they need relationship with me.

    1. Paul some of us here have not forgotten this incredible situation of 280 students per day that you shared with us earlier this year. It is a most serious situation, and an unbelievable one. Compare that with my 50 students. I am having the best year of my life. If I had to teach 280 I would be having the worst year of my life. Let us know something good.

  10. “IF i only care about teaching I have no true interaction with anyone all day”

    I can’t tell you how many times I have felt this, especially in the big institution I am in now. It can be a very lonely place, even though we are surrounded by humans who need interaction as much as we do. The anxiety over having a massive paper trail for them and for us (“accountability”) is what’s killing the interactions.

    1. Boy, I’m so sorry to hear that, John. I wonder if this paper trail you speak of is for reporting to your World Language Dept Chair. You know. And if so, is there anyone else in the building with clout that may understand how TCI is the cutting-edge future of foreign language classes and how your teaching is the best way to deliver instruction? If so, can you get that person of clout on your side and help you feel less burdened by meaningless paper work?

  11. Over the course of this year I have gradually gained the trust and respect of my admin and gradually felt more secure about my place as a long-term teacher in my school. (Sad to think how in the handful of other schools in Chicago where this feeling has happened the school soon later got closed down or “turned-around”). With this job security I have relaxed with worrying about assessment misconceptions and the like. It has allowed me to be patient and converse with the class as they are ready to be conversed with. My 1st period class is ready for someone to wake them up so I start class sharing lots of sunny thoughts and ideas about class and life. My 6th period has just bolted out of the cafeteria doors with their hearts racing and so need me to banter with them a little before getting to the meat and potatoes of class. I feel like I’m learning what this means, Ben, this focus on helping my students feel happy and joyful.

    Then, there is my 8th period class. ¡Ay caray! There are a handful of students in my 8th period that are in such need of hugs and attention. This kind and degree of attention I simply can’t give them. And yet, they know they CAN divert the attention of their peers. A couple of them can divert the attention of their peers like gravity drains water down a toilet. And I’m in the front of the room watching the attention swirl like water down the toilet drain.

    Many of these kids seem happy and joyful in their moments of gleeful transgression. I sure as hell ain’t worried about speaking in L1 or L2 during this time. (Granted, this is a Spanish heritage class with a crazy dynamic of a wide range of proficiency levels… some of them really belong in a Spanish 2 or 3 class, not a heritage class. And then I have a conglomeration of ADHD kids in there too.)

    So, yes. Happiness and joy but from the joy that comes from contributing to the collaborative spirit of the classroom community. Students need stern guidance if they are not contributing in this regard. Right? Yet, as stern guidance hasn’t helped me so well with my 8th period, I’m reflecting on how I need to allow for much more student-to-student(s) interaction. It’s almost like having a completely different prep even though it’s the same Spanish I Heritage class.

    Yeah, wow. They are sooo done with school by 8th period. I feel like I’m the prison guard of a holding cell sometimes. And Springtime looms… Despite all this, I’m amazed how cheerful these kids are with me day in and day out. I haven’t lost them yet. They are, the vast majority of them, still cheery. So, this post and reflection helps me see that I need to look at it like #1) maintain the cheeriness above all else, then #2) figure out how to engage them more and more in acquiring Spanish even if I need to consider this class like a different prep with less CI delivery application.

    1. You guys are blowing me away on this thread. I am so glad to share this profession with people who are thinking so much deeper than the delivery of content, whatever that is. #1: Maintain the cheeriness above all else.- thanks, Sean. A classroom without joy is a holding cell.

    2. Totally a side note based on what you said, Sean: I used to teach based on the same daily schedule, like you describe. Instead, my current school rotates the class meeting times. We meet 4x per week at a different time each day. They are almost like different people at 7:40am or 2:10pm. I have to remember to expect different needs and behavior at those different times of day: 7:40 is a more passive – don’t expect much silliness or creativity; 2:10 needs high interest & hopefully, movement. Last week a 7:40 class & I made informal bets on the times that several classmates who were late would arrive. That was a fun way to start class. When the latecomers arrived, they were greeted with a lot of enthusiasm, much to their surprise.

  12. One a related note…. I’m one of those rare teachers who get to teach levels 1-4 with all the same kids. (Small poor rural district). One day in Spanish 4 we spent the whole hour talking about personality differences between firstborn, middle born, and last born children. (I knew and taught most of the siblings of those in my class)

    It was not a “fun” class, it was an enjoyable class (a la Robert Harrell)

    After school that day, it overwhelmed me how blessed I am. I get to do this for a career. I suck at CI actually, and I still get to look people in the eye and share our stories.

    I hope everybody here gets the opportunity at least once in their teaching careers.

    With Laurie like love,

  13. I was recently chatting with 2 (non-working) moms from my son’s class. We were making nice conversations when they wondered how many Spanish classes I taught per day/week. (Elementary WL teachers have notoriously overstuffed schedules). “Wow, you must do tons of lesson planning at home!” they posited. I was so glad to share that my lessons are based on stories that I co-create with my students – so I do the great majority of my job while at work.
    I imagine they were conceiving of a WL teacher’s life back in the day, when I fretted continuously about creating games, crafts and activities with lots of moving ‘bits’, only to run outta steam (with no acquisition gains or retention) after only class period:{

  14. Ben and friends, this reminds me of Ben’s Bedtime Prayer for Language Teachers: a heartfelt plea for help in staying focused on what we need to be able to be our best selves with our students. Ben, would you re-post?

  15. Hey Ben, guess what? I’m off the recumbent bike now for two years just by doing my blessed back strengthening exercises! Duh!!! Rode a century counter-clockwise (on my upright carbon bike, no back pain!!) around Sonoma and Napa counties on Saturday with some buddies. Get over here with a bike or we’ll find one for you and we’ll ride and breathe deep clean air and clear the gunk out of your lungs 😉

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  • Access to exclusive Patreon posts by Ben
  • Access to livestreams by Ben