We’re in the middle of our third year of monthly TPRS meetings in Anchorage. We met at (my) house for the first time and had a great potluck.
I re-learned a few things. First, go more slowly than you think you have to. Second, using geometric figures to call attention to just one grammar item makes it jump out. (When one teacher put a circle around the ‘s and the item that meant ‘s in Japanese, everyone in the room said, “Ohhh.”) Third, you may think you’re boring people when really, they just don’t understand. Fourth, even teachers love it when the story is about them. (Because it was in my house, I starred a lot. I felt well-loved.)
Okay, now I realize I learned too much to put it all here. But the last one is on personalization. When Marcia used Susie’s personalization trick of leaning in and discussing a boot purchase at Nordstrom’s, and then sharing it with the whole “class,” we all got intensely interested in those boots. It’s really natural, and adds to the whole idea of making a classroom community.
Every time I think I’m getting this and understanding it, a coaching meeting shows me how to get back to the basics and gives me story ideas. We have some master teachers in this city. I feel lucky to be working here, where I can watch some of them every month.
One time two years ago, we met in our computer lab, where we could project Susie’s beaming face onto a screen and Skyped our first coaching session. That was amazing. The only bad part of the coaching yesterday is that I was the only coach. I’ve had only a short training session with Susie, so either we need more training, or we need more Skyping!