Yesterday I had the honor of attending the presentation of the final thesis presentation for Rachel, a French student and senior at Colorado State University. Rachel became interested in TPRS two years ago when I presented on the subject in her Methods of Teaching Foreign Languages classes, taught by Dr. Frederique Grimm.

It is precisely this type of engagement at the university level and among new teachers that we need to see. Once students graduate and get into a new teaching job the daily demands become so overwhelming that survival is the only thing on most of their minds–not much new learning happens and most revert to the methods they experienced  in their own high school classes. There is little time or brain space left for learning a new philosophy of teaching in those first few years, keeping ahead of the students and keeping up with the increasingly heavy load imposed by state and federal bureaucrats sadly becomes the main focus.

Rachel has kept in contact with me over the last two years. She has observed extensively in my classroom. She has also traveled to many schools and has observed 15 other TPRS/TCI teachers, read extensively and has even attended the NTPRS conference last summer in Dallas.  She has worked incredibly hard and has persevered in trying circumstances that would have daunted most of the rest of us. I have been honored to be on her thesis committee as she has developed the project over the last year. Rachel also wrote a series of lessons incorporating French Art and History with TPRS.  She plans on posting her thesis publicly and I will post a link here as soon as she does so.

Way to go, Rachel!