Quote

I was reading through some old notes and found this quote from Susan Gross in 2007. I realize now yet once again how lucky I was in 2001 to have found her as my mentor:

“As I listen to teachers, I hear that something is missing. In our attempt to spell things out and to do TPRS step by step, we have missed the big picture. The big picture is the relationship with kids. The big picture is having a love-fest in class. The big picture is letting go of curriculum and just teaching students.

“A teacher is not a moron; a teacher knows that the kiddos need all six conjugated forms of verbs by the end of level one. A teacher knows that they need to say “going to do” and not just “does.” A teacher knows that numbers and colors and agreement are important in this particular language. We don’t need a schedule. We don’t need “going to plus infinitive” this month, then “wants to plus infinitive” next month. We need to get it all in, but that is easy to do if we speak the language every day and ask lots of questions! Just keep recycling all of the important stuff all of the time all year long. That’s the content and we need to teach it.

“The big picture is the relationships among those in the classroom. That’s what real teaching is all about. If the relationship is healthy, the kids will learn better. If the relationship is shaky, the learning is shaky. Only the teacher has the power to fix classroom relationships.”

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2 thoughts on “Quote”

  1. So true. I have been up to my neck in responding to evals from legacy evaluators. It is nice to read something that makes sense. Thanks for sharing these. We have been talking about relationship for a long time. It is important to be reminded that TPRS never progressed to the relationship focus. It has been there since the beginning. We as individuals are the ones who have progressed toward the point from which TPRS began. Relationship is like the pole in tether-ball. The farther we go in TPRS the closer we get back to the center.

  2. Yes! Such a great image Nathaniel!

    “Relationship is like the pole in tether-ball. The farther we go in TPRS the closer we get back to the center.”

    The naughty renegade part of me would love to submit Susie’s quote as a unit plan:

    “A teacher is not a moron; a teacher knows that the kiddos need all six conjugated forms of verbs by the end of level one. A teacher knows that they need to say “going to do” and not just “does.” A teacher knows that numbers and colors and agreement are important in this particular language. We don’t need a schedule. We don’t need “going to plus infinitive” this month, then “wants to plus infinitive” next month. We need to get it all in, but that is easy to do if we speak the language every day and ask lots of questions! Just keep recycling all of the important stuff all of the time all year long. That’s the content and we need to teach it.

    “The big picture is the relationships among those in the classroom. That’s what real teaching is all about. If the relationship is healthy, the kids will learn better. If the relationship is shaky, the learning is shaky. Only the teacher has the power to fix classroom relationships.”

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