Early Monday morning on July 23rd I took off from Salt Lake International on SouthWest Airlines. The flight was smooth and relaxing. While on the flight I overheard a couple of other TPRS Teachers chatting. It was obviously was on the right plane. They were talking about Spanish and Stories and Circling etc. I introduced myself and I met Heidi and Tawnee from the Davis School District. Here was the view from the plane.
I Got there just in time for the opening remarks by Blaine Ray. The first sessions were going to begin and I knew that I was in for a great experience. The highlight of the conference was the key note speaker Susan Gross. While she was being introduced, I came to find out this was her last year. She would be retiring from TPRS. I was so glad that I was there to learn from her and and hear her final testimony of the power of TPRS. Her keynote was titled TPRS Saves the Day.
While she was speaking I said to myself “This is where I belong. TPRS is my passion. What an amazing thing to be a part of.” Susan gave great examples of teachers who had overcome all odds. If you would like to get a copy of Susan’s talk you can order it through Blaine’s Site.
I experienced so many wonderful workshops while at the conference. I can’t list all I learned on this post but I figure I will do it in a series of posts focusing on each skill or concept. But let me say that NTPRS conference is one of the best things you can do as a second language teacher. Next year it will be in Dallas Texas. One of the best things they offered at the conference was coaching. In the afternoon, after the first evening class, you can spend a few hours working on your TPRS skills with a coach there to help you and give you feedback on things you are missing. I learned so much in these coaching sessions either teaching others or being taught. That is one great thing you will find in all the workshop is a demo of the teaching principle usually in a language you are unfamiliar with. TPRS is an art-form and there is only so much things you can learn about it before you have to just get out there and do it. I found it very helpful that I had a couple years experience trying out the theory and now after this conference I feel I can fine tune it and maximize on it’s power.
On Thursday night of the NTPRS conference there is a tradition to have an open mic night where anyone attending the conference can share one of their talents. We had an outstanding night of talent from comedians, jugglers, musicians and more. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and sing a song.
What an great experience the whole conference was! I made new friends and gain a lot of insights on what it takes to be an effective teacher using TPRS. Those post are soon to follow.