I knew, of course, that the barking noise I heard on the other end of the phone that day had no possible legal bite, but I shut the blog down since I was leaving the country anyway. I needed some time to think.
On my trip, I reflected on the level of anger expressed in that hour on the phone. I had to admit that it got to me emotionally, and deeply. Why all the enmity? Why is the discussion around Krashen such an emotional one?
My purpose has never been to piss off educators but rather to open up a dialogue about the absolute importance of the input skills over the output skills, especially in the early years of a language program.
The principal’s phone call was not the first time I had gotten into a situation like that, although it was by far the ugliest. I truly never want to experience that level of pushback and antagonism again.
The Problem with CI
Jeffrey Sachs was asked what the difference between people in Norway and in the U.S. was. He responded that people in Norway are happy and
5 thoughts on “Why I Shut the Blog Down 2”
Ben, it’s good that you’re back. Very sorry you took a such hit. You took it for all of us. Your blog is a source of inspiration to a lot of people. What we’re about (engaging, student-centered, comprehensible input) is pure and accurate and worth fighting for. Maybe there is a way to shield you from anything like that again, I’m just thinking, maybe there’s a way for many of us to speak in one voice to defend anyone who comes up against this sort of nonsense. Thank you for bouncing back.
Somehow I made it to this link while reading old articles. I hate to bring up an unsettling feelings from the past but I was wondering whatever came of that principal that called you ranting?
Are the teachers there happy and successful? Any thing interesting about that story?
I too have crazy stories about unreasonable educators and find it fascinating that WE all come across people that are so obstuse to what we do.
Thanks for anything you are willing to and/or sorry for bringing up the past 🙂
Not at all Michael. I bet you could predict what happened to that guy. He had never worked in a high school and had only one year of elementary teaching before he became an administrator. Tall and good-looking but without a clue about how languages are acquired, he targeted enough teachers (yes, he told us what our jobs were about) and unsettled enough people so that after three years they moved him up to the district level to be, get this, in charge of all DPS principals. He had power over some great people. An AP in my building at Lincoln was primed for his own building but this guy chopped him up in the interview, telling him that he was not good at assessment. He was GREAT at assessment. Two years into that job, this person became second in command of the Aurora (CO) schools as the Chief Curriculum Officer. I think he’s still there. Maybe they’ll make him a supe. You know, tall and white and handsome. That thing. Pathetic. Diana Noonan is worry about me because whenever the DPS gang goes out on a FAC nite, I reveal the need for counseling. Hey, that guy hurt me. Admins like that are seriously dangerous to our mental health. But yeah this guy keeps getting bumped upstairs as soon as they see how nuts he is. I think he’ll be running for political office soon.
Funny… last night over boiled dinner, my mom and sister shared an update (there have been ongoing problems) about the incompetence of my nephew’s middle school principal. My dad suggested he’d been promoted to administration to get him out of the classroom and hopefully do less damage to kids. It’s so crazy…
Yesterday I was called to the principal’s office because of a false accusation by a student. It was a surprise. I do not think the principal believed alleged event happened. But the event was hijacked to question the Interpersonal Communications Skills grading. Years ago I capitulated in response to relentless intimidation by the same administrator. Thanks to divine healing in areas of shame and fear, as well as the constant education on this blog, I weather the storm much better. That was yesterday.
Although running a only half a tank of sleep, I made it through today with a lot of positive moments. A colleague of mine has been noticed that her students that had me last year are more capable than those who had other teachers. So as part of a teacher certification thing she asked if she could observe one of my lessons. So she came in today. I gave her Robert’s Administrator Checklist to fill out while observing. I look forward to a follow-up chat. That was today.
Tomorrow I am to go down to the principal’s office to get some help in planning lessons. Well, I thought, one reason I am on this blog is to learn. I do not have high hopes for the lessons to be learned in the principal’s office, but I have resolved that I will have a teachable spirit. I now have a positive purpose. I am not going to eat dirt. Rather, I am going to see what I can learn to better serve my students. That will be tomorrow.
My wife suggests that, afterwards, I can invite my colleague to come back to observe another, even better, lesson than today. But that is getting the cart ahead of the horse. I will have enough trouble in the meantime making sure my spirit remains teachable.
(The student was switched to another class, so that is a non-issue at this point.)