Classroom Jobs


"Si al comienzo no muestras quién eres, nunca podrás después, cuando quisieres."  "If at first you do not show who you are, you will never be able to afterwards when you want to." From El Conde Lucanor, Cuento XXXV, by Don Juan Manuel (Medieval Castilian writer, 1282-1348). The first week of school is a magical and vitally important time. This is the honeymoon period, those brief few days when it seems like every single one of your students like you, like the class and like each other. Almost every year the honeymoon phase will trick you into thinking you don't [...]

Seminar in Seattle

Did a seminar in Seattle this week (the 5th of 5 this month) for the Institute for Educational Development, a division of the Bureau of Education and Research (BER). 62 enthusiastic attendees. Fabulous group! Saw some old friends and made some new ones. Woven throughout every aspect of the day was the crucial need for relationships and empathy. Talked about what works in the world language classroom to make it a place where acquisition happens joyfully and enthusiastically: • How modern Second Language Acquisition (SLA) theory applies to best-practice teaching • The difference between acquisition and learning in world language teaching [...]


I have been very fortunate to have been visited by two master teachers in the past two weeks: Connie Navarro and Karen Rowan. Now here are the observations by a set of fresh eyes. Noah is a second year teacher from a Christian school in Denver, full of ideas and hope, who had asked to visit my classroom. Here are his observations. I had heard about Bryce through some colleagues in the Spanish Teaching world. When I read that this was his final year teaching, I decided I better try to observe him while I still had the opportunity. When I [...]


I enjoy teaching with very few props or electronics. Relationship-based teaching (passwords, discussing reading and persona especial interviews) propped up by well-honed TPRS questioning skills are the go-to tactics in my classroom. But I have discovered that there are two tools without which I can no longer function optimally, and they both seem a bit gimmicky: a handheld mechanical sports counter and a stop watch. It was disconcerting to realize that my students and I lean upon these devices so heavily. Our routines were disrupted and students with classrooms jobs no longer had the tools of their trade. My mechanical [...]

By |2018-02-14T20:55:50-07:00February 14th, 2018|Categories: Classroom Jobs, Daily Routine, Rejoinders, Uncategorized|0 Comments


A colleague writes: “I've really been struggling with my ADHD kids who not only aren't getting the input they need but are distracting other students AND me. 98% of my class is smiling/laughing/engaged... so I don't think it's a problem with the compelling aspect... and I can't get my ADHD students to pay attention long enough to give them more repetitions... and I don't think there is any way to make it more comprehensible... articles... advice?” These three key practices will help with your ADHD students: 1) Let them get up and get moving. Anticipate their energy. Say that any [...]

By |2017-10-11T13:22:12-06:00September 5th, 2017|Categories: Classroom Jobs, Classroom Management, Reading Body Language|1 Comment


If you haven't implemented classroom jobs, think about it. They change the dynamic in the classroom by recruiting students to do the minimum wage tasks which gives the teacher time to think. Jobs let students share some of the load so that you can do what you are best suited to do. Students with jobs are more aware of what is happening in the classroom and can use their own initiative to deal with situations that come up and achieve limited goals. The shared responsibilities and power allows students to make some of the tactical decisions while the teacher focuses [...]