My Visit To George Washington High School

My visit to George Washington yesterday was so much fun. The entire department of five young teachers all agree that Krashen is the best way to go for their kids. Because of this, and perhaps because of the youth of these teachers (they average under 30 as I said here elsewhere), I spent my day at GW feeling like a kid on a baseball field on a splendid morning in the summer playing baseball with my friends – not the organized kind with uniforms but the real kind. See this link:
https://benslavic.com/blog/2009/07/04/they-actually-play/
Hanging out with our friends in non-pressure situations, that is how this change is going to take place. Diana has worked tirelessly to this end for years in our district, and we are beginning to see the results.
In this case, Joe and Kailey and Reuben and I spent the day just having fun together, enjoying the kids, coaching each other, and videotaping ourselves (they agreed to my posting links to that video here when we get the blog membership all set up).
Yesterday I saw again that kids are really geniuses with language. Dominique, Who Is The Dancer That Michael Jackson Always Wanted To Be, combined tiene miedo with a Michael Jackson signature move. You should have seen it. The quick turn to the left, the elbows suddenly over the dropped head – fear. That kind of stuff. Yeah Kailey!
My day at GW wasn’t like work at all! It was awesome, the four of us teachers hanging around and talking about what we all could do to get better at comprehension based methods and not arguing in the invisible world about what is the best way to teach.
That is the way it should be. Play.

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3 thoughts on “My Visit To George Washington High School”

  1. I mentioned in an e-mail to Ben that several teachers in my district have decided to use TPRS/CI even if the district isn’t ready as a whole to embrace it. We are meeting once a month for informal sessions. Although we haven’t done real coaching yet, I foresee us getting there, and we are working on the things that we see as needs. These are great sessions among friends. Earlier in the year two of us asked to be able to watch one our colleagues at his school and got permission, but the district then turned the whole thing into a formal “visitation” with other people involved – both visitors and visited – and turned it into something totally different from what we were looking for. It’s great, Ben, that you were able to keep this “pure”. I’m convinced that the change is going to have to be to a large extent “grassroots” until we reach critical mass and tip the scales.

  2. Great note to administrators, Ben. Just as we are better teachers and parents when we allow ourselves to enter the world of play that is really the work world of children, if administrators can just allow themselves to remember what it is like to be a teacher engaged in that play/work world instead of the deadly dull world that is IMHO the world of administrators, they will be better administrators and mentors for their teachers. It isn’t really about whether you have your daily objective written on the board or not, it is how you and the students play the game that is learning.

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