Who Needs A Teacher?

TPRS can function in unique ways once the kids have been trained in playing the game. I got this from Beth Crosby in Maine today. The story here is unique to TPRS – it wouldn’t have happened in any other kind of classroom.
Hi Ben!
I just thought I’d share an encouraging story.
First, a little background. Skip took his first fledgling TPRS steps in the fall of 2005.  Before he started it full force at PRHS, he began testing it out at his night job at a private residential school. He was the only Spanish teacher and the administration was very supportive. 
Skip is currently in Costa Rica with  7 PRHS students and Gabe.  They were able to find a sub at PRHS who happened to be home for a few months before she returns to Ecuador. His main concern is that the input continue for the two weeks he is gone.  What to do about the private school, though?  Not too many people are willing to sub 6pm-10:30pm M-F.
I have been on the private school’s very short sub list for a couple of years.  Since I wasn’t going on the trip, I agreed to cover his classes and show the movies while he was gone.   A few weeks ago I covered his SP 3/4 class while he had a meeting.  When the movie ended, one student, “D”,  stood up and said “Let’s do a story!”  Well, that got me thinking. D loves Spanish and has seemed to flourish in the language over the past year. He has asked Skip for any and all extra reading that he can get, and refuses to speak to Skip in anything else but Spanish.
Skip worked out a plan with the student and administration that allows D to run the stories and continue the CI while I sit with the students, grade the assignments, monitor behavior, and learn with them.  Since I’m familiar with the TPRS game plan, I’m able make sure that they are staying on track and he’s able to take my feedback constructively.  The nine other students and I have had a blast the past few nights.  The class has been very receptive to D and seem to get a kick out of my taking part with them in Spanish 1.  They were only two weeks into the Spring semester so I hadn’t missed too much and I think that we are all on the same page at this point. 
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I have learned more Spanish with D than I have with Skip.  That’s probably due to my own stubbornness. Maybe it’s because it’s inspiring to see kids come alive when they’re doing something that they love.  Either way, it’s pretty cool. Just one of the many ways that TPRS rocks!
By the way, he has started a trip blog if anyone is interested! http://skipcrosby.blogspot.com/



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