domingo, 19 de noviembre de 2017

Thoughts on being dogmatic

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I love my job, especially since I shifted away from the textbook to do more CI and using stories. I teach at a fantastic school in New Hampshire. My students are awesome. I work with good people. I also coach cross-country and I love that. I love working with teenagers. I love teaching Spanish. I love delivering interesting cultural content to my students. I love to see my students process the Cultural Ps and reflect on their own lives. I love it when they can understand something or say something spontaneously in Spanish. I love having conversations with them in Spanish. I love to see so many of them go on and minor (and a few major) in Spanish. And I love seeing "non-academic" students be engaged and successful. I love "comprehensifying and extending" authentic resources. I also love professional development; I am kinda a nerd about it. I listen to SLA podcasts. I love reading books about teaching (see below for some suggestions). I love going to conferences and learning from others. I also love presenting. I love trying to come up with good "I can" statements for units. I love trying to incorporate the 5 Cs. I love collaborating with others and have developed relationships and even friendships with lots of teachers throughout the country through #langchat. And I love sharing and trying to help others, especially teachers who are on the same journey to shift their teaching. And I love traveling and bringing back what I learn to the classroom. I also love traveling with students.

But, lately, I have been feeling a bit discouraged (and perhaps I need to take a step back from social media!). I have noticed a lot of dogmatic (and sometimes aggressively and cultishly preachy) language teachers. I am seeing more and more teachers who have an attitude of 
  • "our way or the highway"
  • "moral obligation" to teach this way 
  • "I listen to... and you are doing it wrong
  • "So and so says..., so you have to do it that way" 
  • "I am a language teacher, I don't teach about culture"
  • "Authentic resources should never be used because..." 
  • "You should never teacher grammar." 

Wow, this dogmatic attitude is not helping teachers! And it certainly not going to encourage teachers to shift their teaching! So, after a few recent conversations and a weird tweet exchange on #langchat about #authres (which ended with someone blocking me), I realized that I have to make sure that I am not being dogmatic! I have this blog because I want to share and help others. And, fortunately, I have had a lot of people who have contacted me and thanked me and/or shared back... and that keeps me going!

So, let's respect each other and value each other's journey... and maybe be a little less dogmatic.

On the note of being a bit of a nerd when it comes to PD and being an informed and educated language teacher, here are some of my favorite books, podcasts, and YouTube videos that I have read/listened to/watched in the past few years. I have taken a lot from these... and I have also not taken some things.

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