Comparison: Challenging Tool or Thief of Joy?
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Comparison: Challenging Tool or Thief of Joy?

Have you ever had someone say something so startling that, in an instant, their words seem to smack you in the face with a reality check? I recently had one of those moments: an abrupt and much-needed a-ha! moment, that reminded me to be my best teacher self, I need to give myself grace and keep it all in […]

Conversation on the fly
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Conversation on the fly

So lots of people have asked me about this post I made on Twitter about speaking circles, and I can explain it better here than in Tweets. Best day! Whole-class speaking circle but w/ teams, new topic every 8 min, TL earns pts for team, Eng loses pts, top team & Indiv get prizes — […]

When Too Much is…Too Much (Stay on the Path!)
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When Too Much is…Too Much (Stay on the Path!)

Boy did I need Alyssa Villarreal’s recent post last fall–I was great about setting goals, but they were too many and too big! I spent the school year spinning, working non-stop and on the verge of burnout.   What followed was a summer spent recovering from my near burnout crash–with no work, no PD (I’m happy […]

Change is Hard
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Change is Hard

I have been trying to write a post for over a month, and nothing has been working.  I’ve been struggling with writing, deleting, thinking “this sounds ridiculous”, etc, so I’ve written nothing.  Tweets don’t count, although, I’ve at least been doing that a bit.  As I’ve thought about it, I think what the problem is […]

Creating Classroom Community
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Creating Classroom Community

We all talk about building classroom community and building relationships with the students, but I have to share a story with you all. I recently lost my voice for two weeks, which really messed with my identity as a teacher, much less a language teacher. But even though we’d only been in school a few weeks, […]

Making your list & sticking to it
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Making your list & sticking to it

How many times have you set a goal? It may be too many to count. Perhaps the better question is how many times have you set the SAME goal? The question becomes do we have the right goal for the right time and if we have the right goal, how do we see it through […]

It’s all about them!
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It’s all about them!

August happened, there’s no turning back… So I mustered up the courage and walked through the classroom door. Greeted suddenly by the off-gassing of new tables, I immediately threw the windows open. Then came the deer-in-the-headlights moment. What will I do with them? How will I arrange them? Should I figure that out first before […]

Brain Food
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Brain Food

I tweeted earlier this week about getting my brain food ready in preparation for the TELL Collab in Austin, Texas, this weekend, and it really got me thinking about the kinds of ways we teachers feed our brains even on summer break. I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m engaged in some serious thinking–from […]

A Whole New Meaning For ABC
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A Whole New Meaning For ABC

Summer is here in Memphis and it is arriving quickly for the rest of you, even if it doesn’t feel that it is. So this is the time of the year that we work long hours grading final exams and doing more math than many of us care to do normally in order to get […]

Focusing on the Long Haul
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Focusing on the Long Haul

In thinking about assessing proficiency and growth as I approach the end of the year, I sometimes feel overwhelmed and a bit of self-inflicted pressure. Since making the switch to teaching for proficiency, I’ve come to understand the importance of assessment and feedback like never before.  I am greatly influenced and inspired by the wonderful […]