I asked my Facebook followers what I blog about on this, my 500th blog post since switching to WordPress in March of 2011. The consensus was to do something reflective…so here it is!
CC 2014 Christian Schnettelker Flickr.com
When I dove head-first into TPRS® in early 2010, the only materials that I had to work with were those that I found on blogs. Ben Slavic’s blog was my home page, and I found scores of story scripts and TPRS® teaching tips in his archives. Betsy Paskvan and Michele Whaley introduced me to the mind-blowing Standards Based Assessment materials of Scott Benedict at Teach for June, and Carol Gaab’s downloadable articles, lesson plans, and handouts on the TPRS Publishing website gave depth to my instruction. I read many other blogs and pulled ideas from each of them, but those three had the biggest impact on my TPRS® infancy. In the real world, I was and still am incredibly blessed to live just 20 minutes away from the formidable mind and unspeakably warm heart of Michele Whaley. Under her gentle guidance, I learned that the power of TPRS® is found in the Comprehensible Input that it provides, and that it is just one of many ways to Teach with Comprehensible Input.
As I got my feet under me and began to write my own stories, I started sharing them on my class’s google site because I honestly thought that that was an unspoken “requirement” of TPRS® teachers. Whatever you do in class, you put on a blog so that others can figure out how to navigate a world without textbooks. I’ve since learned that it is not, in fact, a requirement: it’s just that TCI teachers are really, really kind and generous people that want their peers to love teaching again and students around the world to actually, truly learn language. Amazing!
In March of 2011, I made the switch to WordPress so that I could better file my posts and store my content. It’s pretty funny now to look back at my posts from the first few years–much of it is still good (in my eyes), but I have learned and changed a lot since then, so I would no longer stand behind all of my early ideas.
This blog has given me two wonderful gifts: first, the ability to stay home with my boys. I prayed long and hard that the Lord would make a way for me to stay home with my kids, and I never would have imagined that blogging would be the answer. He is so faithful to answer prayer!! The second, equally wonderful, gift that my blog has given me is cherished friendships. I’ll not list them here for fear that I would leave out a name, but a quick scroll through my archives will lead you to them. In particular, though, I do have to highlight Cynthia Hitz and Carol Gaab because I met both of them for the first time praying that I was not about to be brutally murdered by an psychopath disguising him or herself as a friendly world language teacher. I flew out to the remote woods of Wisconsin to meet Carol for the first time, and Cynthia came to my house–thankfully, without an ax in her luggage. So far, everyone that I have met online has turned out to be real, and really wonderful :)
I’d love to leave you with some of my “top posts”, but the most popular posts are skewed by Pinterest (most of the statistical top posts are ones that apply to teachers of all content areas and levels, not just World Language teachers), and I don’t have the mental stamina to consider all 500 to come up with my own personal favorites. So…methinks I’ll do a giveaway and leave the blogging to you!
I have recently begun to learn French as I have been reading the novel Brandon Brown veut un chien, listening to the audio book, and working with the Teacher’s Guide–the same three resources that are available to anyone that purchases a Teacher Package of one of the TPRS Publishing novels. IT IS AWESOME! I have become more convinced than ever that Comprehensible Input is the most effective way to learn a language, because I am experiencing it firsthand! For this reason, I am going to give away THREE TPRS Publishing Teacher Packages–each winner can choose the novel that they would like to have shipped to them.
If you’d like the chance to win one of the three teacher packages, just leave a comment with (at least) one thing you’ve read on this blog that other readers should not miss! If possible, find and include the link to the post; if not, just describe the idea (activity, strategy, etc.) and I’ll try to find and add the link to the specific post. It can be a post that inspired an ah-ha moment for you, the activity with which you’ve had the most success, your favorite story script…anything!
Any World Language teacher that comments will have their name entered in the raffle to win one of three teacher packages from TPRS Publishing. Comments must be received on or before Sunday, December 7, 2014, and I’ll notify the winner via email on Monday, December 8.
Can’t wait to see what YOUR top posts are!!