Wednesday, May 25, 2011

last day

So I think I got to know my students better than ever with this whole TPRS thing.  And I was able to establish connections with them that I hadn't been able to do as easily before.

I mean, before, I would be able to ask them how they were and make artificial conversations with them about things.  With TPRS, since it's a conversation, it's more natural and even though often times it can be fictional, they're playing along with you and sometimes a student will allow a real event to pop in while you might change what happens to them.

This year was about trying out as much as I could of TPRS and I found that although some students (from my lack of reading their eyes) got left behind, the abilities in the language and the confidence levels were much higher because you're constantly conversing in the language and students slowly will create sentences for you.  Also, some students found themselves saying things in Spanish outside of class (and I'm not talking about random vocabulary).  Instead, they have sentences going around, possible descriptions of things going on.

After this year, I am more than ever convinced that TPRS is the way to go for me in the future of teaching Spanish.

However, sadly, I will miss the students that I have experimented the method on this year.  I have been teaching at this small rural school for 5 years now (starting off originally as an interim Spanish teacher / warm body).  Since then I have gotten my master's in teaching Spanish as well as my certification in teaching.

Next year I will be teaching in a new school and will have to build new connections.  I will be able to see the effectiveness of TPRS in a mixed classroom with students who already have fluency in spoken Spanish or partial fluency because the town is a mixture of white-Missourian students and Mexican and Central American students.

I'm excited about the change but I will miss my students dearly.  I hope to only further improve my TPRS teaching next year and do much better at assessing my students as well as not leaving them behind.


  1. Hi señor Jordan,

    Nice blog! I made a Dutch TPRS blog "Alike in TPRS Wonderland". Next week I'll post there about the NTPRS ; I put a link to your blog on my blog. It would be nice if you'll make a link to my blog as well (allthough it's in Dutch) :

    BTW, will you be an the National? If yes, it would be nice to meet!

    Best wishes, Alike Last

  2. Alike,
    Hello! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I sadly won't be able to attend the conference this summer. I hope to next summer. My brother planned his wedding in New Mexico during the conference time. Oh well! Better luck next time.

    I'll definitely link your site to mine. Where do you teach Dutch?

    -Jeremy Jordan

  3. Sr. Jordan,
    I was directed to your video lessons by a fellow teacher (I am currently a student teacher) and I've found them very helpful. A few weeks have gone by and now I stumbled upon your blog while surfing the web for Spanish teaching information. I am using the textbook Realidades which is great and even has an accompanying TPRS book. However, upon further inspection I've noticed that many of the stories are a bit odd. Are there any resources you would recommend to find more engaging stories?

    Thanks so much!
    Srta C

    1. Srta C,
      I'm not sure if I ever responded to you. TPRS is something that can be used depending on the personality of any teacher. You can have serious stories, silly stories, scary stories, incredibly crazy stories, etc. This last fall at a conference, I heard a teacher who uses TPRS that teaches historical and cultural stories with TPRS. What's important is that it is interesting to the students and meaningful. If those things are going on, then they can learn the language.

      As far as materials, I think the Blaine Ray stuff and some others are to show kind of how it can be done. But ultimately you can choose the structures and see where your stories take you. Understand that high school students sometimes like to be able to play around a little bit with the language and it can be fun to see where their creativity can take you. But that's just my opinion and my experience. :-)

      -Sr. J