Monday, March 3, 2008

Southwest COLT

Ben Slavic commented recently on a tsunami of new young teachers. I just attended Southwest Colt in Utah where Jan Holter Kittok presented on her variety of TPRS and did a Swedish TPRS demo. It was my first chance to see things from the student point of view.

There were about 20 of us there with varying experience in both teaching and TPRS. Many were wanting to make the jump, but just didn't know how to start. I hope that session was beneficial to them. I was in the same boat a few months ago, but decided to just jump out of the boat because I couldn't keep up the same old routine and even though I wasn't and still am not a TPRS expert, the only way I will get there is just doing it and doing the best I can while I seek out better training.

Next door (unfortunately at the same time), Scott Benedict was presenting on proficiency based grading. I would have liked to attend his session as well. The 2nd half of the day, he came and joined us in the Swedish demo.

The funny thing was that throughout the three day conference, I saw a lot of the TPRS teachers in most of the same sessions I attended. It's pretty easy to see which sessions are for the grammarians and which ones lend themselves to TPRS.

I just got a grant to attend National in Minneapolis on the condition that I present on my experience at our State UFLA conference this fall. I was all too happy to do it. I didn't realize there were a lot of TPRSers in Utah and compared with Colorado, Minnesota, etc. there probably aren't, but change is on the way. There's a lot of teachers who see the benefits of TPRS, but still are afraid to take the first step. There are several other teachers I know who are watching my "experiment" and making plans to gradually start up TPRS. My only recommendation would be, don't dip your foot in the pool. Take the plunge; the water's nice.

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