I really do believe that people who are language teachers have been handed – or rather had dumped on them – a unique set of challenges. Before, a few years ago, change was not obligatory, but now it is.
Not to say that others in other professions aren’t in the same situation. It’s all gnarly for all of us and we must resolve to be strong this year. I say with confidence, a kind of absolute confidence based on what I have seen and heard from people who have already been trained in the UCI approach over the past year, that if you dive into the StarChart™ it can help immensely. But you’ve got to dive in at some point.
My wish and prayer for this coming year is great professional growth for all of us, even if we doubt our own potential at this point. Who wouldn’t doubt their potential in education these days, with COVID and online teaching lurking in the corners of our psyches like evil gremlins? I just wish that I had understood in my earlier teaching days that my difficulties in the classroom were far less due to me than they were to the system I was in, which I’m sure is now even far worse for the younger ones than the one I was in for most of my career, primarily due to spending cuts and increasingly ignorant administrators working under immense pressure from even more ignorant people at the district level.
Since this site is new and not “out there” on the internet, we are blessed with a small group. This is a very good thing! May we in 2022 come closer together in trust and grow together into a fuller realization of our teaching potential. I am of the firm opinion that we all need a community that we can trust in and belong to and lean on if we are to have a better 2022. Speaking frankly, I believe that most of those box store-type CI sites that are currently out there offer little if any emotional and intellectual support, because they lack quality content.
With the UCI approach, we don’t babble. We get it done.
So let’s continue to try our best and to be open to new things and especially to grow in trust in our little Patreon group here. We can do so via our comments and through the Zoom trainings, or in private emails with others in the group, by phone calls, or by whatever we have to do to not feel alone.
On Jan. 1, 2023, I would like to look back and see that those things will have happened here. It is my New Year’s wish for 2022.
In that interest, the first UCI training for this year begins this Saturday at noon Mountain Time. I have said to many in the group via individual messages, but wish to say it here to the group as well, that anyone interested in the trainings but with financial constraints due to the insane state of affairs in education and in our society right now is invited to attend the trainings for free.
Of course, graduates of the trainings like patrons Denise and Danielle, Karin and anyone else who has attended a training before, can attend for free for purposes of review (since the StarChart™ is a bottomless pit of great activities) or just to hang out and share with the group whatever things – good or bad – that are happening in their classrooms.
Take advantage of this offer! The group may not be so small in a year. I’ve been in the field for a long time and, if I have to say so myself because few out there realize what we have in the StarChart™. I’ve never seen anything better, and that is after writing 18 books on TPRS/CI over the past 20 years. It is a method that brings authentic happiness into language classrooms! On this site, click on the “About” link and select the “Testimonials” option if you want to read about how the Star has helped those who were trained in 2021.
Another advantage to starting now is that you will be able to learn and practice in bits and pieces this winter and spring. I will include elements of Book 2 in the Book 1 training, (by including all three image-creation options instead of just the one) so that by fall you will have the potential to be a teacher who is able to deal with all the challenges because you have a real pedagogy that is based on the research and not the textbook to work from.
In support of the above words, i would like to share here this email message from Denise that I received just this morning:
Happy New Year!
For all the dumpster fire that these past two years have been, I am grateful for the huge transformation to my teaching that I’m experiencing thanks to having met you! Thank you so much for pushing through the exhaustion yourself and coming back with even more determination to help us all succeed!”
Last week Denise also sent me the message below. When reading it please keep in mind that the message is from an experienced, already excellent teacher who was successful at language teaching before she heard about the UCI approach.
“When I finally decided to dive into learning about CI last year, before discovering Ben and this amazing group of educators, I first came across other methods and I definitely fell into that feeling of confusion and overwhelm. I couldn’t figure out how to make it work. I’m so grateful for the Zoom trainings that gave me the understanding and the confidence to be able to put the Star to work in my classroom. The kids LOVE it!!! We took some time off to do some cultural explorations for Hispanic Heritage Month and Día de Muertos, and it’s awesome that they just constantly wanted to get back to the stories, begging for them, actually….. and we haven’t even gotten to the fun part of doing OWI and ICI yet!”