Last Hurrah…equals Slow!


If you haven’t staLastHurrahrted school yet and are stressing out, I have a suggestion. And if you have started school already and are stressing out, I have the same suggestion: invite a group of teachers over for a Last Hurrah.

I admit that I wouldn’t know how to gather a bunch of world language teachers if not for the TPRS community, and would not have thought of gathering, had Karen not written to suggest it. I still almost forgot!


In the last week, I have been frantically gathering all sorts of websites, stacking them up, creating little documents, and trying to remember how to do this thing that I’ve done for 30 years. Going back to school is intimidating. We want to get it right for our kids. We’re about to run into that “never have time enough” wall.


So today, eight language teachers slowed down, shared some delicacies, covered topics like grading and opening tricks and SEL games. Victoria reminded us what to do with upper-level grammar. We remembered some Jody Noble and Martina Bex and Laurie Clarcq ideas. We rehashed how Jason Fritz says to keep yourself sane and healthy. (Here’s his wiki.) We went to Cindy Hitz’s website for her first-day suggestions. I showed some of the photos that are coming in thanks to Cindy’s blog. (“Here is a picture of me with my bunny and my chicken.” Love it!)


Best of all, we took time to talk out loud, not on phones, and not on electronic means! We all took notes, sure, and one of us (I) was on her computer trying to send people links and rubrics. But we ate a lot, shared our woes as well as our successes, realized that we can count on one another, and slowed the pace down for a few hours. De-stress. Do it.

5 responses to “Last Hurrah…equals Slow!

  1. Michele,
    I clicked on the link to Jason’s wiki but did not find anything about “keeping yourself sane and healthy” (which is one of my goals for the year!) Can you guide me?


    • Hi Ruth! Jason doesn’t have that list of ideas there. Here are some of the things he suggested:
      -get Throat Coat tea
      -get a microphone (available from $60-80 and $120 for Promethean Board connectors)
      -make the kids do the heavy lifting; they have to re-act, they have to be louder
      -the teacher doesn’t have to be louder or show the most energy
      -use teams for management
      -make your classroom like Cheers: names, laughter, cozy, colorful, low stress
      -humor means: dancing, enthusiasm, inside jokes, gestures, props, goofy accents, nicknames
      -use TPR for classroom management and brain breaks
      -UBD- backward planning is helpful
      choose which words are TPR, TPRS/PQA, cognate or teach during reading, and other
      -have stage presence: own the room
      -Don’t mix new structures with new culture
      -do guided imagery: eyes closed…change the story slightly as they listen

      To read: Psychology for Foreign Language Teachers
      The Experience of Language Teaching

      (every time Jason suggests a book, it’s a winner!)

      You probably will recognize all these from Ixtapa. I found it a great review and inspiration!


  2. Ruth, the main thing I wanted to point out here is: consider getting off the electronics and using the wisdom of people face to face! Maybe it’s not WL teachers, but just friendly faces who have the same goals in the classroom.


  3. It was a great time and a great source of stress relief. I always feel so much better, so much more a part of the WL community after one of our meetings. It was a great idea to hold the first one of the year before we’re due back in the classroom (although many of us are already in the classroom!). Thank you Karen for thinking of this, thank you MJ for hosting, thank you everyone for the delicious food, thank you Karl for watching the kids and thank you for all the great ideas and support!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was lovely. I keep wanting to post the specific ideas, like Diana’s game and 30/90/10 rule, or Victoria’s pictures of the critical scenes in a MovieTalk, or the variations on notebooks and comp books. But it’s mostly important just to talk about those things and connect as humans. You ARE the community, by the way! You rock!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.