Why I Shut the Blog Down 3

In order to avoid the kind of conflict recently described here, I have decided to turn this blog into a members only site.
A private membership format will bring us a higher degree of honesty, professional safety, freedom of speech, and will protect us from those who, in my opinion, don’t fully grasp comprehensible input and who, as a result, feel compelled to attack what we are doing. It’s hard enough trying to learn about CI when one eye is constantly distracted by stupid arguments. I require privacy at this point.
I have expunged from this blog the inadvertent reference that sparked the ire of the person referred to in the blog of three days ago – with no apologies, however, because none are required. I might add to anyone interested that I have also deleted the few classless references to Myriam Met made on this blog a few years ago, with an apology to her.
Now we can move forward free of the sometimes nasty political edge that has lurked on this site since its inception about three years ago. I think of this new blog space as a closed system free of politics where I get to dialogue and dream about important new ideas in teaching with people I respect and trust . There will be, I suppose, an occasional rant for mental health.  I will give you more details about the private membership blog soon.



23 thoughts on “Why I Shut the Blog Down 3”

  1. I am SO glad that we will once again be able to benefit from the support, encouragement, ideas, Q+A and the expertise that so many bring to this site.
    I look forward to the reinstatement of the blog and all of the help that it brings so many. Thank you Ben. I am SO sorry for all of the distress that you have endured.

  2. Glad to have you back Ben. It’s easier to challenge myself day in and day out when I not only have the swirl of ideas to draw from but your high standards to push me.

  3. Dear Ben, I am so sorry you have had to go through this ordeal. I have so missed your blog and the sanity, the ideas and challenges it brought me every day. Your blog, although I never commented before, helped me be a better teacher every day in every class, even when I screwed it up royally.

  4. Clarice and y’all thank you so much for this encouragement. And Clarice the sentiment, the feeling in your words
    …even when I screwed it up royally….
    is what is going to make us eventually kick butt with CI. Only if we are willing to stink up the place can we authentically move forward – or I should say that that is my own experience. There is a thread that I have noticed from many of you, in private emails and in comments you have written here over the past few years. It is a quality, almost a bet kind of like the one Pascal made, that if we just feel and admit how scared we are, how awkward we feel as we learn this method, that we will then somehow be able to master the technique anyway. I still feel it after all these years. It is in these moments of almost physical fear when we start a class with CI, happily offset by the mental conviction that using comprehensible input is the best ticket to acquisition out there right now, that we will grow into the teachers we want to be. We know that teaching using CI is no game for the weak or fainthearted, but requires superior conviction and effort. I am so glad, Clarice, that you make this point. It is a perfect starting point for this new incarnation of this blog. Without the courage to be ready at any moment in any class to mess it up, we are nothing, we have nothing.

  5. You guys are amazing. I have to say, Laurie, that since escorting you to your limo in LA last summer and saying good bye to Doug and Jody and Brian Elvis Presley and Carol and all those Alaskans and awesome people, it has by contrast been a very hard year. It really has. This stuff is no cake walk. Little harmony anywhere. I can’t wait to see you all in St. Louis. I’ve been talking to Lisa and will probably do two afternoon sessions, one on starting the year with Circling with Balls and the other stuff, and then another session on moving from PQA into a story, which I really saw how that works for me this year. Skip will be there. Carol will be there. I know you are presenting right? Let’s all make a pact to be in St. Louis if at all the stars will allow it. Elissa will be there I think. Martha? C’mon it’s just a short flight from Japan! Laurie I know you are presenting there and Bryce and I are still talking about riding our bikes down the hill to the big river. Of course talking about it and doing it are two different things. Kind of like CI!

  6. Hooray for the blog! I really have missed this community and all the inspiration found here. I hope to be able to go to St Louis. What a treat to learn with and from you all! ¡Abrazos a todos!

  7. Frustration is not being able to be in two places at once.
    I’m going to be at an AP conference in June, then with students in Germany through July, followed by having my nephew fly up from Kenya to hang out for a couple of weeks. I would love to be able to be in St. Louis. “Next year in Jerusalem . . . ”
    Thanks for bringing the blog back, Ben.
    I couldn’t help but notice how our entire world is geared toward negativity when I went to Ben’s blog after it had shut down. When I click on the arrow by the URL box, I get a list of sites with identifications (e.g. Sportnachrichten, AOL, etc.). Even though I have now visited Ben’s blog several times after its resurrection, my browser still identifies it as “Temporarily Disabled”. Maybe some day it will once again identify Ben Slavic’s Blog. I’m glad, in spite of my browser’s identification, that this group is not “disabled”, temporarily or otherwise. I enjoy what everyone posts. Thanks, Bryce, for the Kruger-Dunning effect.

  8. Cannot wait to see you all!!! I scheduled my flight for Saturday…leaving you all early from that hotel just about did me in last summer….a very special moment for me but I’d rather hang out with you all as long as possible…now if only I could get through the week without sleeping….
    with love,

  9. I could see getting in on Saturday too Laurie. I’ll talk to Bryce. We could actually then schedule some impromptu work sessions in the hotel – like we did in LA – on Sunday. We could get a lot done all day. Maybe you could coach me on Sunday.

  10. Hey Ben,
    Arriving on Saturday works for me. I would love to exchange ideas with the likes of Laurie and have the opportunity to get some coaching.

  11. Oh dang…I meant not leaving until Saturday. I definitely should have hit this blog before booking a flight!!!!!!!!!! Anyways…I’m leaving later Sat. afternoon so I’ll be looking for a coffee shop or hotel lobby to hang out in. Or maybe I’ll just stay up all night Friday too!!

  12. ok so we – Bryce and I – need to stay on through the Sat. at the end of the week. No worries. Bryce? Maybe we can all go visit my alma mater if we’re not too far away. Go back to where I learned French. Oops. That would have to be France, not Dr. Schreiber’s class….

  13. @ Robert Harrell: your summer sounds like mine. Germany with GAPP, and then a whole lot of work trying to integrate the best principals of TPRS/CI into a teacher training program that is committed to (1) immersion (2) thematic unit design (3) national standards (the good ones, at least, ours for foreign language. And then maybe a move to a new school, depending on how things shake out here in Wisconsin.
    That was a digression. Glad you’re back on Ben, really really glad.

  14. Robert Harrell

    I wish you a productive summer, Byron, and hope you get a chance to relax as well. The time with my nephew will force me to do something different. Otherwise I’ll also be doing planning and preparing – re-writing my AP syllabus for the new test. At least I have until January to submit, but my goal is to have it done before school starts.

  15. Byron you mentioned sleeplessness. As if we don’t have enough to talk about in this blog space, at some point I would like to get that topic going here for general discussion. Insomnia related to worrying about the next day – either in the form of some meeting with some administrator who could care less about current research but rather wants to be in control, or some kid who never learned kindness and so must be taught it by seeing it modeled at every turn of a long day – has been a constant ever since I started doing storytelling. There is so much internal work going on, so much courage needed, so much mental struggle to grasp the magnitude of the change, so much opposition, and so much guidance from something invisible – which is the true source of the content of this blog – that I wouldn’t be surprised if the two of us weren’t the only ones experiencing insomnia.

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