Response To Toni

Toni you said:
“I am terrible at personalizing – but I think that it’s probably because I always have an agenda.”
Toni that is one powerful statement. It’s a game-changer. You also said:
“With all the talk on this blog of ‘letting go’ of our old teacher selves, this post seems to be giving me a kind of courage I haven’t found before – to actually just be real in front of my students and enjoy them for who they are.”
My response to that is that it made me think about how there is, in most buildings, an invisible think-speak that we would be violating some unwritten code of teaching if we in fact just let ourselves go and do what you describe above – just talk to them.
Of course, for that quarter of a century before TPRS before I met Susan Gross, I DIDN’T KNOW HOW to do that, so it is natural that other ways of getting the kids to pay attention, ways that are now old and frozen to me, would become pretty entrenched in my mind.
But, now, the key point is that we actually HAVE A WAY THAT WORKS to get us to talk to the kids. That changes the substrata of our thinking about what we do, and makes me say that I just don’t care anymore what people think about TPRS or me.
So, building on the idea you expressed about giving yourself permission to change, I can say the following things:
I don’t need anyone’s approval about the way I teach. I don’t need to fit into, or get permission from, a system that I don’t like. I don’t need to beg teachers (who typically serve a too-small percentage of students) to accept TPRS.
I have enough confidence, now, after these eight intense years of full-blown TPRS and full-blown mind, to just say, “You know what? I’m doing it differently. I’m doing it according to my heart and my own sense of power. I don’t have to be a certain way for other teachers. Students will drive what I do, and not other teachers.”



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