Today I told my eight superstars in one class to zip their mouths closed. I told them I was going to work with the quieter ones, who then would assume responsibility for driving the story forward, just for the day. Those kids were to just listen to the beauty of the language and take a nice break.

I learned more than I thought I would. I learned that the twenty other kids formed two groups. One group consisted of the quieter kids who get everything but never get their chance to supply cute answers. They were awesome and I bowed to their creativity and their daily patience with the superstars.

The other group – those last seven or eight – made me realize how much I ignore the barometers. They are just so easy to ignore! Their faces showed me today how much they don’t want me to look them right in the eyes to establish some honest communication.

I learned one thing from this experiment in not letting that fastest group speak today. I learned that I need to spend more time with the barometers! I need to get them into the flow of things more and more!

That group of course learned more today then usual, because I worked with them and went slower. The story was not so funny (striking writers in Hollywood kind of thing), but the sense of gratefulness in their eyes reminded me – yet again – that in TPRS we cannot afford to leave kids behind.


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