Highest Priority – 1

My highest priority in this work is the mental health piece. Second, of course, is the pedagogy piece. But they are intertwined. We all know that on some level the WAY we teach determines our mental health.
It makes me tip my hat to myself and all the other grammar based textbook teachers of the past. I personally did it for a quarter of a century. What strength to go into a class and know that well over the half the class is to some degree or another confused (to put it mildly) by us but we still keep teaching that same way year after year! That requires blinders, strength, moral courage, and no small degree of self-absorption.
I justified doing that by saying that the four kids left each year in my AP classes were the only ones who deserved to be there.
This, I see now, was not good my mental health. In fact it made me dislike my job. BUT I did get validation in monthly departmental meetings that the same rude kid that I had that year was also rude to my colleague last year. So we teachers did support each other.
Now, I’ve figured out a way to reach them all. TPRS just didn’t work for me (not to say that it doesn’t work for others). TPRS had its own natural selection process which excluded all but about five or six kids in the class. See article below.*
Anyway, the point this morning is simple: best practices lead to best mental health.



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