Report from the Field – Aree Ogir

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9 thoughts on “Report from the Field – Aree Ogir”

  1. In 2009 I attacked what Georgia was doing in language education in a series of 20 articles here. Here is a link to the first one. For the rest, just search “Georgia” in the search bar here:

    https://benslavic.com/blog/2009/03/07/im-glad-i-dont-teach-in-georgia-first-in-a-series/

    I know it doesn’t help, Aree, but it frames the situation in Georgia and how they got to where they have departments like yours in spite of all the recent research and changes in the focus of the standards.

    1. Aree from Atlanta

      Thanks so much! I remember these posts, but at that point it wasn’t very relevant to me (so I thought…) because I was doing my own thing in private schools. I shall research and try to figure something out. I really hope that some other folks can chime in. I am a “lone wolf” in my department, but as Duran Duran sang…. I’m “hungry like the wolf!” 🙂

      1. Aree, I feel for you as I was / still am in your shoes . The first year I taught with CI and was told by the other French teacher to stop b/c I wasn’t following the curriculum! My department chair came to my rescue ( he was doing CI Spanish as well, and there was a war between the 3 Ci teachers and the 16 grammar teachers) . He told me to either make those grammar quizzes/tests a take home assignment or even do it as an open book exam at school. I did it for a while, but you have to be careful because it may come back to you, as kids start talking to one another.
        This year I am in the same boat again but fortunately I was able to convince the other 2 French teachers to use CI based common assessment so we are trying to the best we can. I am so sorry you have to go through that because that is why I quit teaching after my first year, I just COULD NOT TEACH TO THE BOOK!
        Good luck to you, this is a dilemna that is so impossible to solve in my view. They want to make robots teachers out of us, teaching the same stuff in the same way with very little variation and no room for creativity. My advice if you can: start looking for another job. I’m keeping my eyes/ears open, and I feel like it will be their loss if I leave, not mine….

  2. Dear Aree,
    What bothers me FIRST is that they are just telling you this now!!!! That is so unprofessional, and frankly, smacks of setting people up to fail.

    Second, take a look at the assessments. Are you being required to give all of the assessments or just the Chapter or Unit tests? WHY do they want everyone to give the same assessment? IF they want you to give the assessments in order to make sure that students are all being exposed to the same material, you may be able to argue that they can be given, they can be used to modify instruction, but there is not a need to record grades for them. Grade recording is another animal altogether.

    Also…do you have to give the same assessments at the same time or can you give them when your students are ready? Your students will, of course, be acquiring other language in the meantime.

    I also agree that there should be some functionality to the assessments. They should be SKILL-based. Functional, communication skills (R,L,S,W) rather than conjugation or pick the io/do skills. However, I don’t know how much sway you can have as the new teach in the building/district. That may have to be a goal.

    Great advice to keep your eyes and ears open for an advocate/like mind. Keep us informed!

    with love,
    Laurie

  3. Ditto to what Michele said. I attended a workshop for German teachers this summer and there was one session on how to adapt a textbook to fit the needs of a TPRS teacher, given by Rob Williams. I think there is a document on the moretprs list where he explains how he does it. If you can’t find it, I have a copy saved on my computer and I will be happy to forward it to you. Just send me an e-mail to bkahn at msd.k12.ny.us
    Good luck, this is really a tough one to deal with.

  4. I just can’t see where, if Krashen is right that we learn languages unconsciously in what is a magnificently natural, natural, natural process (we hear it for years and then we can speak it and we don’t know how it happened but we’re glad it did bc then we can understand and write cool sentences like this one). So how can the method work with a book? Ok – I feel better.

  5. Aree from Atlanta

    Thanks everyone,

    I had a mtg with my dept. chair today and it was very good. It looks like I may get by with only giving 3 common “minor assessments” per chapter. These have to be common between myself and the other grade level teachers. I think that this will be easy. Thanks for the support! I am still bound to the county-wide Final Exams, and that one is non-negotioable…

  6. We also have regional exams that the kids take in 8th and 10th grade. I would say, don’t sweat that one at all!!! Last year, during my first year of teaching with CI only, my kids scored way better than in all the years before. Just by doing what you’re doing, they will be so much better prepared. So, this should not give you a headache at all.

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