Category Archives: Learning Environment

Unpacking My Old Classroom Practices
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Unpacking My Old Classroom Practices

This fall, I’m returning to the high school classroom after being away from teaching students for five years.   During this time, I made an effort to remain professionally active and connected, and I learned more than I would have if I had been working full-time, thanks to social media, professional organization, podcasts, and conferences.   Since […]

The Power of Pause
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The Power of Pause

Three seconds. Research has shown that giving students at least three seconds of think time after asking a question increases results in a number of ways. Yet, with time constraints and our students’ waning attention spans, we are continually pressured to crank out questions and answers, call on a variety of students, make sure everyone feels good, […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Classroom Connections
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Classroom Connections

I think it would be fair to warn you, I am somewhat obsessed with my classroom. I love the empty, bare walls at the beginning of the year, and the possibility of the language learning that is going to happen.  Crazy, right? I love that I get to be creative and prepare the best  environment that […]