When the Tail Wags the Dog, or How a Standards-Based Rubric May Make Me a More Effective Teacher
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When the Tail Wags the Dog, or How a Standards-Based Rubric May Make Me a More Effective Teacher

How do we convince students to stretch beyond their comfort zone when writing and speaking in the target language? I believe that teachers have to educate students about proficiency, both on a course level and the task level, so that they are invested in our collective work. Truly, we have a mighty task before us as we […]

Allowing retakes: how well is your parachute packed?
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Allowing retakes: how well is your parachute packed?

In my education program, my professor would tell us a great analogy about grades and retakes.  She said that as teachers we should allow students to retake assessments, so they can continue to practice and improve with the language.  We want students to practice so well that they can attain a proficiency with the language.  […]

Starstruck
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Starstruck

The character Leslie Knope from the show Parks and Recreation is known for her love of organizational binders, waffles, and geeking out over giants in her field that other people might not recognize. I do the last thing on this list, which I call “Knope-ing out” from the infinitive “to Knope out.” A couple of […]

Fresh Eyes:  Seeing Work Through the Lens of Proficiency
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Fresh Eyes: Seeing Work Through the Lens of Proficiency

Through my posts on this blog, I’m tracking my experiences, as both a novice teacher (in regards to proficiency) and as a more veteran teacher, with ten years of public high school teaching in my past.  This first two months of being back in the classroom, after five years outside of public schools, have been […]