Your Mental Health Counts Most – 2

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben's Patreon at $10 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.



13 thoughts on “Your Mental Health Counts Most – 2”

  1. This post is so timely. I had to take a couple days off last week due to walking pneumonia. Stress is real in this environment. I was able to have a lot of time to ponder my roll. If being an educator is even worth the stress on my body, mind and soul. I’ve been trying to think of any American I’ve seen walking around relaxed, calm and present. I don’t know anyone, let alone anyone in my school building. Even the children seem like they’re wired and anxious. I keep thinking about all the pressures put on teachers. With all the hats we wear its amazing kids learn anything- that we can accomplish anything with such little resources. We are told over and over again, the teacher makes the difference. “A good teacher is worth his weight in gold.” But I feel as though we are not teaching anything new, just refining what students bring to us. We FL teachers get to feel special because we truly get to teach all new things. But even then, we are only refining their exposure to culture, hopefully rewiring their views, giving them more stories for their hearts, erasing some prejudice, and giving them small glimmers into another way to communicate.
    Today, I choose to enjoy my students- to be an adult who lets them know they are capable, that they are cherished and that they are safe. That 1% of their year I get to have is a gift. But I’m going to let myself say “Fuck it” more often. I’m writing myself a permission slip that says, “Be a teacher who doesn’t need to jump higher or swim faster, be the teacher who allows herself to be present and still.”

    1. Jenna, this post is awesome. Blessed are the relaxed. I see in my CI classes the knees bobbing up and down, the big sighs, the twitchy movements. This affects my teaching. I notice I might start speeding up or feel anxious myself. Their anxiety is palpable, and sometimes their darkness comes out in their ICIs. Yesterday we did them and one student, who has clear emotional problems, created a character who’s job it was to make others happy, but her secret was that she wasn’t happy herself. I’d have to be a lump of coal to not hurt for her in that moment.

      I’m thankful to teach a FL. My room’s near 2 Social Studies teachers and sometimes I catch what they’re doing in their classes. Total SnoreFest. Not the history itself, but how it’s presented. I think doing NTCI has eliminated an incalculable amount of work and stress from my life. I’m so thankful.

      1. I’d be careful where you took that information if it were a story, but you’re still doing tableaux so you’re ok. The class isn’t in the form of a community yet and we don’t want any drama. Stay away from that kind of character development this year until the system is more in place. We’ll have to at some point figure out why the kids are so antsy. Our goal is to get the kids to where they want to be there, which in certain buildings bc of the culture is no easy task.

          1. Actually I’ve seen a lot of those like that. And it’s ok in my view to go ahead and spin a tableau or story from them, but not until the kids feels safe as a result of the bonding-into-a-community process that is a key overall piece in the Invisibles process and that hasn’t taken place yet in your classroom. I will say that for a first year teacher and never having done CI before, you are kicking some major butt in knocking away hurdles. I know it feels crazy to you, but you are learning a lot and exhibiting a high degree of bravery and fight.

          2. Agreed. I’ve been thinking since I see my students every other day how much, if any, that has slowed down the process of building community in my classroom. Granted we have 90 minutes together every other day, but just wondering if that has an effect.

            Thank you! I really appreciate it! I need that reminder!

  2. Jenna said:

    we are told over and over again, the teacher makes the difference….

    It’s so true and the only problem is how do we do that? How do we make the difference? My position and one so eloquently supported by Jenna above is that if we don’t consciously take care of our own mental health in exactly the way Jenna describes above, then what are we even doing? We’re going to fail unless we are the person who makes the difference for the person who makes the difference. We have to be our own champions bc no one else is going to do that for us. Even though that’s the real admins’ jobs.

    True dat for what is happening to us as Americans as well. I almost got into a fight the other day with a guy who was being a total jerk. The good part is we ended up hugging it out. But yeah, these really are times that try humans’ souls. But we’ll make it through. We’re Americans.

  3. Jenna what you describe above is really important – the idea of being relaxed, calm and present. It’s an almost superhuman job in our society right now, but just writing it out like that, sending that thought out into the universe, is a good start.

    For my part, the poison of scattered people has infected the CI movement, and there is little we can do when we aren’t calm and relaxed. It leads to chaos. It’s not the CI, it’s the lack of balance in people doing it. I guess it’s time again to think globally and act locally try to achieve as much balance as we can in our whackjob buildings.

    I have some ideas about how we can maybe start an “awareness” project within the CI movement. I went to a yoga class this morning and the teacher was so slow and centered with each pose that it made me think we can do that for our kids – apply principles of yoga to our work of teaching kids languages. Glad you’re in this group!!

    1. This is one of the things I found so off putting about the traditional TPRS approach and so refreshing about yours, Ben. Especially in my community where there has been so much exposure to Spanish. There is no sense of wonder about the language around here and I can’t be a cartoon character all the time trying to draw wonder out of students that don’t truly have.
      A couple teachers at my site are just now getting into TPRS and they have that fake forced “wonder” about them and it’s just so weird. Like in order to teach a language you have to be totally hyped about it all the time. Like it’s a multilevel marketing company or something.

  4. “This post is so timely. I had to take a couple days off last week due to walking pneumonia.” I learned that a colleague of mine (whos been teaching more than 10 years) takes a day off every month for sanity. Maybe it could help for immunity.

    1. Immunity. I want immunity from so many things.

      I think it’s a great idea to give yourself a day off when you’re healthy and just want a sluggish, lavish 3 day weekend. In my state, luckily, that is one of our biggest benefits, you actually can take off one day a month and have a couple left. I’m working on creating a routine and teaching cycle that doesn’t make me have to “escape it” or recover every weekend. Ben, I’m curious about this yoga strategy…

      1. I’m working on a response about the yoga now, Jenna. I’m going to a class later today so I’ll be able to think about it some more and give you a proper response.

        It’s deep internal work, for sure, the yoga, and so it should be for us in CI. We can’t really make the research come alive and honor the true spirit of the Communication standard unless we do some internal growth work. It’s gut-wrenching at times. But the kids RESPOND. How long have they waited for us to present the language to them in a non-curricular data-collection way!

        The essential core idea in this discussion is tied to what Craig said about how it’s so fake-feeling for the kids and for us and how yoga provides a model for an end to that old TPRSiFLT model that never made much more than a dent in language education after 20 years.

        If what we’re doing doesn’t involve AUTHENTIC communication, to Craig’s point, then the kids will see through it. Then when they tune out our fakeness, we blame THEM for being lazy and disengaged. But they are disengaged for a reason and it’s our own disingenuous instruction.

        And why does it fail? Because we tie CI to the curriculum, clipping its massive wings.

Leave a Comment

  • Search

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Related Posts

Stendra Super Force generico all’ingrosso

Stendra Super Force generico all’ingrosso Valutazione 4.6 sulla base di 352 voti. Nome del prodotto: Stendra Super Force Categoria: Disfunzione Erettile Nome commerciale: Extra Super

The Problem with CI

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

CI and the Research (cont.)

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to



Subscribe to be a patron and get additional posts by Ben, along with live-streams, and monthly patron meetings!

Also each month, you will get a special coupon code to save 20% on any product once a month.

  • 20% coupon to anything in the store once a month
  • Access to monthly meetings with Ben
  • Access to exclusive Patreon posts by Ben
  • Access to livestreams by Ben