Reflections on NTPRS – Angie Dodd

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18 thoughts on “Reflections on NTPRS – Angie Dodd”

  1. I am sorry the Latin teachers felt the way you described. Latin at my school is taught so traditionally. It is made so difficult for the kids that many result to cheating to get by. Since it has traditionally been so traditional, I for one am encouraged by and in awe of these trailblazers who are learning to speak a “dead” language and are making Latin come alive for their students.

    1. I don’t know how a normal student could pass a traditional Latin class without cheating. I have a Master’s Degree in Latin and have no confidence that I would get an “A” in Latin II at my high school.
      We have worked very hard to make Latin as ugly, cruel, mechanical, elitist, joyless, judgmental and cold. It is no wonder why modern language teachers look at us like we have three heads when we go to CI conferences. We have been the ancestral enemies of all that is CI.
      Thanks for sticking up for us 🙂

      1. This thread is reminding me of my son….He told me when he was junior (12 years ago! WOW!!!) that it was MY fault that he missed National Honor Society by a 1/4 of a point because I made him take Latin his freshman year!! 😀
        Yes, it was taught traditionally. (and I’m a mean mom!)

  2. Thanks for posting this, Angie. Reading your reflections has made me more excited and confident about teaching tomorrow. Your concise observations have made really helped focus my scattered thinking on what is actually important. I really hope you’re going to TCI Maine this year!

  3. Thank you, Angie! What richness! There are many that I could pick out one by one to be my gem of the day or week to keep in the front of my mind and work on.
    Somehow it seems so clear being someone else’s notes so well-chosen and neatly written up.
    On top of the treasure that is here every day. We are rich!

  4. “I don’t care how long it takes because we are not in a hurry.” ~~ Piedad Gutierrez
    I need to remember this this year!
    “I’m not teaching colors, I’m using colors. I’m not teaching body parts, I’m teaching has”. ~~Jason Fritze
    Priceless. LOVE it!
    and to keep it all in perspective:
    “Teach sentence by sentence.
    It is not our goal to finish anything. We teach a sentence for mastery.
    It’s about falling in love with your students, glorifying them and giving them the gift of fluency.”
    ~~Blaine Ray
    Where would we and our students be if not for Blaine Ray? Thank you Blaine.
    AND…..Thank YOU Angie, SO much for sharing these!!!

    1. Thank you for your comment on Blaine, Mary Beth. And I would add Susie Gross to that. And Carol and Diana. Without all four of those, especially the incomparable Susie, I would certainly not be teaching anymore. Susie in her own fantastic way gave me my job back, a job I had never really had – one that I was just going through the motions on – and with that giving she changed my life. I owe Susie everything. I like it that we take the time here occasionally to say things about these great pioneers who have saved so many of our asses from hanging out to dry in the winds of mediocrity.

      1. and also….BEN….we can’t give thanks for this work and forget to thank YOU, Mr. Slavic!
        and Angie…I’m with you in that “survival mode.” As happy as I am to have ‘moved on’ to another district, right now I am really missing my old digs….I would not have been as exhausted as I have been these past two weeks! I know this feeling shall pass – eventually – and I will be giving thanks again, but I miss knowing the routine and the kids and the staff! I’m so tired it all seems so hard! (and two schools this year too)
        OK — only a few more weeks of “survival”, then overlapping it with “honeymoon stage”, then the beginning of November until after Christmas it will be the “Oh Man! just shoot me – NOW!” then wen we return from Christmas break, through till June, I will have gotten to know the kids, they’ll have gotten to know me…..then we’ll get this to work. I’ll enjoy them later! right?
        Just get me an IV with slow coffee drip….. 😀

  5. Thank you sooooo much, Angie! What a treasure trove of great advice, ideas, suggestions. You were really lucky to be able to attend this amazing PD opportunity, but then to go ahead and share it all with the rest of us, is just so sweet and nice of you. Well, that’s just you!!! So, thanks for sharing – you have no idea how helpful this list will be to me (and everyone else as well, I’m sure). Have a wonderful school year!
    Love, Brigitte

  6. Wow! I’m so glad that this post was helpful to so many people!!! I’ve moved out of reflective mode and into survival mode. Full steam ahead with the work. However, I can feel as I’m doing it that the conference and all the other PD work really changes me deeply. The things I learn and see change my practice. It’s an acquisition process, as so many people have said. Big love to this blog…to Ben and everyone…here’s to getting our asses out of the winds of mediocrity, as Ben said!!

  7. I loved this post. I have one problem with it though. Who are the people marginalizing or Latin teachers? I want to hunt them down!
    TPRS Latin teachers=my heroes!

    1. Right, Mike – and Angie, I would be totally remiss not to give you a huge shout out for sharing these gems. I was with the beginners for most of the week and saw very few presenters so your post is pure gold!!

    2. Mike,
      You ask who they are. You may find that they are wonderful teachers and leaders who have been misled by the propaganda machine of the Grammar Translation Latin teachers. So keep hunting, but be ready to embrace unarmed, so to speak. But I love your spirit of camaraderie.

  8. If I understood correctly, the reception of the Latin teachers was…
    1) …due the preconceptions of us modern language teachers about how Latin is taught… preconceptions created by the traditional, barbaric, English-only approach to learning Latin which has been taught by the elite gladiators of the grammar arena.
    2)…reinforced by the idea that Latin is a dead language. Dead languages are those which are not spoken. The modern Latin teachers have breathed life into their language by speaking it and expecting students to comprehend. This is similar to modern language teachers who suck the life out of their language by letting it lie dead while we talk about the dead language and its culture(s) in English. It may be living elsewhere; but it dies in our classes through lack of use.
    3) …and was turned around by the end of the week. Non-Latin teaching attendees and presenters learned what we have known on this blog for a long time, viz., learning Latin as a spoken language through CI creates reading ability among all students like grammar charters only dream of doing with the best and most resilient of students. The fact that the (46) Latin attendees and presenters were able to change the misconceptions of so many so quickly speaks to the consistent hard work they have been doing for several years, as well as to the power of both CI and the most thoroughgoing CI approach, TPRS. It likewise speaks to the proclivity of TPRS teachers to be convinced by the results.
    And here is a gem that Keith Today posted on Latin Best Practices (from Carol Gaab), “”You (as the teacher) are the only one (in the classroom) who cares that you’re using the subjunctive.

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