Walk Before You Talk (WBYT)

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16 thoughts on “Walk Before You Talk (WBYT)”

  1. Hi everyone,

    Good news. One of my “studies” classes (aka remedial, behavior issue kids) has been approved to have a teacher’s assitant in the class. This was the class that I went to the textbook with for a month. I convinced my boss that this is in the best interest of the program.

    The TA is a certified teacher but does NOT speak spanish. What is the best use of this TA?

    What I am thinking is to go HARDCORE on the Student Jobs and maybe even have a student job rubric. Also have him in the back of the room when I am in the front documenting any cell phone use or off task behavior.

    This TA is a good teacher and well-respected coach.

  2. This is one of the greatest passages in the book. It has never been explained before. I’m so happy for us. This isn’t just one way to be Comprehensible. It’s the foundation. It’s crucisl. Essential. Plus it assists us in keeping out of our limbic system. THAT is critical for good CI instruction to work.

    1. I always wonder why the idea of keeping out of our conscious mind and creating flow is not discussed more. I don’t get it. It’s the key, this need to create flow and keep the kids totally out of the analytical sphere (paralysis by analysis) and yet we don’t talk about it. It’s certainly because we are teachers and we think we need to explain and teach. But we don’t. We need to speak to them in ways that they understand while they are focused on the message and we need to just drop anything else. So what’s up with us? Why are we not focused on creating flow and keeping them focused only on the message? Why?

      1. Hm. I totally get this. And I feel like I live in my limbic system these days. It’s so difficult to teach any class let alone a CI class in a building where kids are constantly slipping out of class, wandering the halls (we are supposed to be “on the lookout” and apparently constantly monitoring email), getting in fights and who knows what else.

        It’s overwhelming to have to do literally 10 things at once. Today it was a fight, then multiple phone calls, an email alert I had to send, etc. I do not know how / when I am actually supposed to be interacting with my students?

        1. I’ve been in a school like that. I think a lot of that is administration’s responsibility that they throw on your shoulders. I was only at my school for 1 hr/day and it was stressful enough. Take care of yourself as best you can…

      2. I’m sure creating flow is essential, but on the other hand I believe students can be in their conscious minds when they are trying to comprehend. For me it’s more a matter of keeping them out of their intellectual, analytical minds during a story.

        1. Udo that is a great distinction. Of course there is conscious mind involvement. But since the real action happens in sleep after simply being exposed to the input, I prefer to highlight, when we discuss these things, how their focus on meaning is really largely an unconscious process where they are not thinking about the language at all. But now you have added a perfect qualifying observation. That’s really the best explanation of this long-discussed point that I have yet heard.

        2. My student population is so used to their analytic minds that they see patterns on their own from the visual (reading) input. They get frustrated at times with my explanations that language is PIECEMEAL. So I throw them a bone, with some occasional grammar pop ups — but also with SLA popups.

  3. WBYT. This was what stood out to me more than anything else this summer in ME. Ben reiterated this, demonstrated it, and corrected us when we got it backwards. Thanks.

    1. YES! I apologize for the off-topic rant. I actually experienced the WBYT a bunch today in my super challenging class. I understand deeply that this group is here to teach me the many lessons of teaching, not the least of which is excavating through layers of self doubt. I am talking geological time here. Sedimentary and igneous and I dunno, Jurassic or whatever!

      As part of my “hard reset” I made a new rule poster with only 2 rules: “Silence unless instructed otherwise” and “Follow directions 1st time, immediately.”

      Yesterday and today I found extreme calm in walking over to the poster to point and smile and scan the room slowly, touching in with each student visually. So when I stroll over and point to the rule, and the silence settles, I can stand there and smile and enjoy the calm feeling and then slowly meander to the board to point to something I’m talking about, or more often, gesture something like today when I gestured an athlete in a competition answering her cell phone. It was one of the most joyful moments I’ve had in the classroom in a very long time.

      1. Thank you for this post. After 28 years of teaching ESL I too am higtting the reset button on SLOW and WBYT and other things and it helps so much but it takes time to become second nature.
        Even my very noisy and blurting grade 6 has become more restful and I (almost) enjoy being even more assertive than before: I keep telling some of them while pointing at myself: “Here is your teacher. Please look at me. I want you to be with ME, not you neighbor!” And I keep smiling at them and waiting until they comply; then they get another smile and a thumbs up. It often makes the class smile as well!

        WHY oh WHY isn’t this the most important part of any teacher training?

      2. Jen, can you tell us more about your “hard reset” and what it consists of? I need to hardcore use Tina’s pause and point at rules when I return with a certain class…as well as enjoy that brief moment as a mini “teacher spa day”!

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