No matter the forum, lately I have been seeing a lot of language teacher shaming and bullying and I just don’t like it. We are a team. We should help and support teachers taking risks and even those afraid to take risks without judgement! How do you rate in the bullying department?
But the research says: have you found yourself shaming another teacher’s practice based on the current research in the field? Remember that just as many of our language students bring different experiences to the table, so do our teachers! This is my language teacher iceberg… What we know on the surface is small compared with what teachers have going on below the surface!
And thanks to Thomas Sauer for making my paper iceberg real!
Not all teachers know where to find the research… Many feel overwhelmed by preps and expectations from admin and don’t feel like they have time to read and research! For me, the hardest change was that I LOVED some of my language teachers and felt strongly devoted to how they taught me. Shifting paradigm felt a little like a betrayal!
You’re not doing it right! Change it all now! We are guilty of finding something that works for us and wanting to share it with the world! It isn’t a bad thing at all but give people time to wade in slowly. The only way to make a change and make it stick is to go at your own pace. As teachers see student success and increased proficiency,they will be encouraged to take greater risks! Being supportive of the journey is an important key to shifting classroom paradigms!
I am the expert in the field… We are all just teachers doing what we believe will engage our students in language learning! Share your successes but share failures too! Let new and seeking teachers see that proficiency is a journey for students and proficient teaching is a journey for us!!
It’s us versus them! We learn best when we work together rather than confront. If we are constantly on the attack against teachers using methods we don’t believe in (legacy methods) we lose their trust. How could someone want to know more about a method when its practitioners are not welcoming? Try to remember Maya Angelou’s words “I did what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” We all find that “better” in our own time.
I am isolated from other teachers in my school. The only full time language teacher, I depend on my PLN for support and growth. Please be supportive of me and of each other as we learn to embrace real language proficiency in the classroom!