Let it rain (expanded version)

Carmen reminds us to take the research with a grain of salt and look at what is happening in our classrooms. I like that. The point she makes is so wonderfully valid in this discussion about research.

After twenty-four hellish years without TPRS, I have been at it for seven years. Had Dale Crum not told me about Susan Gross I don’t know where I would be now. I surely wouldn’t be teaching. I hated teaching. Now I love it. Maybe some researcher can come in and quantify the levels of hate and love for teaching I have had during my career. Or the amount of light coming out of my students eyes into my heart at some points during stories. Or maybe they can read the Little Prince as part of their research.

Look, TPRS works for me. If Blaine hadn’t have found it, someone else would have. It has been there, waiting like a seed for rain, for over a hundred years. Waiting. It is time for the skies to grey over and the winds to blow, and to turn this seed into a great and wonderful tree. This has been going on long enough. Let it rain.

TPRS makes my days teaching easier and my life more fun. I look forward to teaching my classes now. I don’t need to prove that! I don’t need to research that! Let it rain.

The method proves itself every day, in every laugh, in every moment of excitement and anticipation, in every hilarious scene, in every boring scene when only CI is occurring, in every smiling kid, in every struggling kid, in every beaming administrator, and, yes, in every moment of fear that I may not be able to pull it off, which there are a lot of. Let it rain.

When I look at my students and their parents, I am pleased because they are pleased. It isn’t all rosy and perfect, but it is a heck of a lot better than it used to be. We don’t compete in the National French Contest anymore. Trust me, that is a good thing! Let it rain. When I look at a whole bunch of really intelligent and experienced people in my building who are starting to apply some of the foundational ideas of TPRS to their own teaching, especially in mathematics, I am encouraged that we are on the right track. Let it rain.

When I read posts like Carmen’s, and see what Scott Benedict has done and is doing now this year, and know that there are colleagues out there like that, and that they are MY colleagues, and that I am not alone, I am hopeful that this seed will grow and not die. Let it rain in Las Vegas.

When I know that Laurie Clarq and Amy Catania and Rochelle Barry and Donatienne Dougherty and Kim Oberdick are over there on the East Coast taking care of business, I am confident. Let in rain in New York and New Jersey.

When I know that I am just a drive away from the classrooms of Michael Miller and Bryce Hedstrom and Dale Crum and Beth Skelton, I know that I can get to a place where I can learn any time I want. And when I know that I can always ask Susan Gross any little question and that I will get a well thought-out answer sprinkled with lots of encouragement, I know I am indeed fortunate. Let it rain in Colorado.

When I know that Blaine and Von and Cristy Ray and Jody Noble and Diane Grieman and Jason Fritz and Rick Winterstein and all of them West Coasters are out there, fighting the good fight every day to do what is BEST FOR TEACHERS, I am happy. Let it rain out West!

When I know that there are colleagues out there across the seas who are struggling in the face of unbelievably repressive systems of education compared to what we know, I am proud to be fighting shoulder to shoulder with them. Let in rain in China, and give my friend Nini Nam what she wants – a TPRS classroom!

When I know that TPRS is getting a toe hold in Holland, with the dynamic Alike Lake getting things going over there and Von there as I write this, I have hope that kids in Europe can learn this way one day. Let it rain in Europe.

When I know Joe Neilson and Mark Oleynick are taking the TPRS into the AP world with astounding and irrefutable results, I have confidence that TPRS can work at all levels. Let it rain in Arizona and Pennsylvania.

When I know that I can learn via the internet tremendous amounts about the method from great and fearless colleagues at the high school level, like Anne Lambert in Maine and Lynette Lang in Illinois, I am determined not to let anything get in my way to do what I can to help others learn about this method. Let it rain in Maine, and in Illinois.

It doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows (Bob Dylan, for you young ones). A hard rain is going to fall. That wind, that rain, is not going to originate in some carefully planned statistical analysis in some computer in the future. It is has already happened and is happening in our TPRS classrooms NOW, thanks to the courage and the tenacity of the people on this list.

I am certain that anyone on this list will throw wide their classroom doors for anyone wanting to come in and do the research. They can do the research, we’ll do the teaching, and if it ain’t perfect, it ain’t perfect. At least we’ll be reaching the kids. I think it’s starting to rain harder. It makes me happy. Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain! (apologies for the dramatic tone… I want to celebrate us, to see the good, because sometimes we forget to do that in our intensity to see the method grow…)


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