In the past few months, I have been taking advantage of the moreTPRS list serve when I am unsure about some aspect of using TPRS in my Spanish 1 class. I am the only teacher that uses TPRS at my school. I envy those teachers that have colleagues in their schools that have helped them through the first months and years of teaching with TPRS. How nice that must be to have someone down the hall that can answer your daily questions, or share their insights on ways to help you improve! However, the other week I stumbled upon a valuable resource that is nearby, but not just right down the hall.
A few weeks ago while I was reading posts on Twitter, I met another Spanish teacher that uses TPRS that works in the neighboring school district. After several Twitter messages and e-mails, and approval by my administrators, we scheduled a day for me and the other world language teachers at my high school to visit her and her colleagues to observe them teaching with TPRS.
It was a great experience in that I was able to see several TPRS teachers doing what they do best - sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm for the language through Comprehensible Input. I saw reading strategies, storytelling using actors and props, storytelling with technology, introduction of new vocabulary, student re-tellings, singing & dancing w/ a video, free voluntary reading, etc. I also had the opportunity to ask two of the teachers about the TPRS process, their curriculum and assessments. Who knew I had some veteran TPRSers in my own backyard? They were welcoming and willing to answer questions I had after observing, and wre quick to offer their assistance and guidance in the future for when I have additional questions.
Another advantage of the visit is that the other members of my department saw the benefits and rewards of teaching with TPRS! They have expressed interest in learning more about the method, whether it be through webinars, workshops, or the almighty NTPRS conference or the Multi-cultural Conference. YES!!!
My heartfelt thanks to Sherry and Michelle and the other teachers today for their willingness to share their insight and knowledge about TPRS with me and my colleagues.