Ray Bauer

This is from Ray in Chicago, actually Brookfield, IL:
My name is Ray Bauer and I currently teach 7th and 8th Grade Spanish in Western Springs, IL.  I spent the last three years teaching Spanish to grades K-6 at an elementary school in the area, however my position was cut due to budgetary issues.  I found out about the cuts, and immediately spent the summer looking for a new job.  I was so fortunate to find my new position.  I am only a few months into the school year, but I love it!  The students are so bright and motivated.
This is my first year teaching grades 7-8, but I kicked it off using Ben’s weekly plan and things have gone great.  I am teaching with PQA on Mondays, followed by stories on Tuesdays, and then reading classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays.  I feel very fortunate to have learned the TPRS/Comprehensible Input strategies.  After initially discovering the strategies at a Blaine Ray conference, I stumbled onto Ben’s blog.  It truly opened the door to so many of the vast possibilities with Comprehensible Input.  I am now on my third year of CI, and I continue to learn more and more.  I feel that it is an energy driven approach.  On a daily basis, I find myself following where the students take our classes.  I must say there is not a more rewarding feeling than finishing up with and reflecting on one of those homerun classes which make you smile for the three minute passing period.
My current weakness is staying with the target structures.  When the class is deep into PQA or a story, I tend to stray from the structures.  I must admit that there have been times when the end-of-class bell has rung, and I’ve realized that I didn’t even get one repetition of one of the target structures.
I am now only three months into the school year, but the feedback has been great.  Students, colleagues and members of the community have given a lot of positive feedback about how I teach.  After past experiences at my previous position regarding CI, I now have a totally different outlook.  I feel that we’ll win people over with this approach that we know works by reaching the student.  If the student can comprehend, can speak, and enjoys class, then there will be a greater push towards these strategies.
Great to be part of the blog with all of you!



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