Posted by: Michel Baker | March 4, 2013

A Change and Some Thank you’s

Blaine me and Ben

Two men that changed my professional life forever.

Hi Guys,

Just writing to let you know about some changes I have made…I now teach Middle School Spanish!  Across the year, my transition has gone from a “bloody mess” with mentors so patient, and to now where we are asking a story a week.  I knew somewhere passed all the new digitized systems, the grading, long hours and learning new behavior potentials I would finally one day emerge as a Middle School TPRS practitioner, or at least I hoped. 

We have eventually worked up to doing stories, and some of our students have been the stars of some of them, so far.  Per Ben Slavic’s advice, here are some of their nicknames:

Logán, el que duerme en tres escritorios. (“the one who sleeps on three desks”)

Pedro, el padre que vuelve a la USA con la familia (the father that returns to the USA with the family)

Vicente, el que va a correr un maratón en la primavera (the one who is going to run a marathon in the spring, etc. 🙂 )

And on and on…we are aiming that by the end of the year, everyone in the classes gets a nickname from off of a story that we got to ask. 

Thanks to every one of YOU who has helped me to somewhat “get off the ground,” although I can still see it up close, haha!  I actually love teaching middle school (they are an interesting breed…not children/not high schoolers…what a very interesting group of people to serve!!), and yes, it is thanks to YOU that I can write these things to you today:

Susie…it makes me want to cry thinking of all the moments when I felt close to giving up on continuing to do TPRS at the middle school level because I simply did not understand how…and you so lovingly held me accountable to my convictions that I finally did get up on these shakey, newborn-calf legs…

Scott T., supervisor, how busy you have been with your first baby boy and coaching position, yet also to graciously willing to train an “older salt” like me…

Jen C., colleague next door, for your ability to make it all look so easy,

Jen V., expert Middle School Spanish teacher from Northwood, for taking me “under your wing” on those Friday night “shop talks” at the Italian restaurant,

Michelle N., French teacher up the way, fellow Middlebury girl and group leader, for showing me ways to help me assess more effectively,

Debbie S., my amazing mentor across the hall, for being THERE to help smooth over ALL of the transitions (YAY, Love and Logic Rules!! 😀 ),

Ben Slavic, CI Methods trainer, for being an example, someone to emulate, as I still watched your You Tube video “One Word Image” this year, trying to replicate that atmosphere in my room…

Blaine Ray for making all of this possible…thanks for opening up our eyes to a better way.

Hoping to see everyone this summer at one of the conferences.

With love to all,

Michel

 

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