Wow, what a great summer it’s been!  It was fast and furious, but there was much fun to be had and much knowledge to be learned.

Since I’ve already blogged about the OPI Training I attended, I won’t say much about it again.  I will repeat, though, YOU MUST DO IT. You have no idea what you are missing, nay, you don’t even KNOW what you DON’T KNOW until you have gone through OPI Certification Training.

Moving on…I finally received formal, face-to-face TPR Storytelling® training this summer, along with the rest of my department.  Our instructor/coach was the fabulous Craig Sheehy. He definitely wastes no time in showing how powerful the method is.  I have never had a desire to learn German, and that first night I was (undesirably) dreaming in German. That said, I still view storytelling as a piece, albeit an important piece, to a much larger puzzle.

The most powerful thing I learned at the TPR Storytelling® training was what a complete turn-off (literally, it turns your brain “off”) it is to a student when they are lost. The moment a student doesn’t understand what you are saying in the target language, no matter HOW obvious your gestures are or HOW MANY TIMES you’ve repeated the same phrase while pausing and pointing…that one moment is the end for that student. So why lose them? Why not just say the meaning? I’ve gotten too hung up on the immersion in the past and I’ve lost too many students for it.

That brings me to a new back-to-school blog series on which I want to embark.  I’m calling it ” The Commitment Series.” At that training this summer, I felt the weight of the need to commit myself to my students once again. Today, I am committing to never letting a student get lost in my words again. Fight and struggle to understand as much as you can? Yes. 90%+ as a daily goal? Yes.  But to me, neither the struggle nor the 90% are worthing losing a student in any lesson.

Next up in The Commitment Series: more student + target language interaction outside of the classroom!

Buena suerte, and feel free to join me in shouting your commitments from the proverbial blogging mountaintops!

-Profe C