You’ve seen these pictures: There are x number of ninjas in this picture. Can you spot them? Well, the same thing went on at ACTFL, but it was with TPRS presenters.
Ninja TPRS, Stealth TPRS, Trojan Horse TPRS, whatever you want to call it, it was there. I’m not sure if this was done purposefully to slip past the guardians at the gate or just to appeal to a more diverse crowd, but none of the TPRS presenters made a big deal out of saying they use the method.
We know that TPRS is just good teaching and these presenters talked about what we should do, or simply what they actually do in the classroom. For me, this goes back to the National TPRS conference (NTPRS) in Kansas City seven years ago where Susan Gross suggested that new TPRS presenters simply model good teaching, talk about what they do, show what their students can do, and mention that they use TPRS along the way. I have not forgotten that. Apparently neither have the rest of the TPRS presenters at ACTFL.
Carol Gaab presented her 7 P’s and the (huge) crowd ate it up. They couldn’t take notes fast enough. Leslie Davison talked about PQA without calling it that and showed off her students’ amazing abilities. Kristi Placido talked about the reading component of TPRS without mentioning it much. I modeled a typical TPRS story, but used an authentic legend as the platform. All without mentioning the method that often.
This was no disrespect to Blaine Ray or to TPRS. We were smuggling good technique into unfamiliar territory. Incredibly, many teachers STILL have not heard much about it, or worse, they have a mutated version of TPRS in their minds. They think it is just silly stuff, or that they can’t do it. The ninjas are proving them wrong.
Let’s get more ninjas in Philadelphia at ACTFL next year!