Fair Warning

Ultimately, this blog is about my journey through the redesign of my teaching practice. Only in it’s nascent form, I’ve come to realize that there is a better way. Since four years of college and two years of grad school didn’t do much for the “teacher” in me, and since the only thing that has really helped has been good conversation, I figured I’d start up a conversation of my own. But first, some things you probably should know.

I’m a realist and a self-indulgent writer. I probably won’t spend much time on whimsy in the posts that follow, but neither will I demonstrate brevity indicative of true wit. My default setting is sarcasm and I’ve been told that I overuse the comma. I’ll try to keep a lid on both. I’m a self-described “good teacher aspiring to be great,” and for the first time in a respectable, though not extraordinary 15-year career in education I think I might just have a shot at it.

As my friend Laura D said about a year ago, I, too, sense a “perfect storm” in education. Some are, at this moment, being tossed around by it’s disruptive and often chaotic winds. I’m just now opening the cellar door. I feel tethered to the ground by the “rudimentary skills” component of introductory foreign language learning (in which I also find a great deal of joy, discovery, and opportunities for lame jokes). However, I believe that communicating (in any language) has got to GET YOU SOMEWHERE, and for the whole of my teaching practice I fear that the only place that I’ve gotten my kids is through the required number of chapters…without much conversation about where else they can go. Last year I began to see a path carved out, which I’m sure I’ll elaborate on in future posts.

Thanks to recent events, namely the CFT Dobbs Cohort, a site called Twitter, three guys named Wagner, Gladwell, and Coyle, and a few dozen insatiably curious and interconnected colleagues, I sense that clarity (or something simulating it) may be on the horizon. I recognize that the horizon is a long haul, especially with a half-ton of textbooks strapped to your back. Furthermore, the horizon has a nasty habit of sneaking away from you, especially when you’re laser-focused on approaching it.

Although blogs are most often focused on the author, I would love to see this become a conversation. Feel free to ask questions, challenge my so-called beliefs, and call me out when I’m being glib or pompous. Forward the link to any language teachers you know…I need their feedback more than anyone. And if it seems they know more than I do, I’ll follow their blog and shut this outfit down.

Thanks for stopping by.

3 thoughts on “Fair Warning

  1. Talk about stepping it up! Love your passion, your transparency, and your work. It is going to be a pleasure to follow along and be a part of the conversation. Thanks for your friendship and collegial spirit, Ted!

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