outdoor brick stairs going up along brick wall with green vines

2019 Reflections — Goal 2: Reality

This is part 2 of my self-evaluations of my “Four Things to Be Relentless about in 2019,” which were Inclusion, Reality, Collaboration, and Positivity. You can read part 1 here. This is how I summarized Thing 2: Reality Practically no one’s actual situation is remotely close to ideal: curricular requirements issued from on high, tests […]

closeup of laptop keys with color added to some of the keys

2019 Reflections — Goal 1: Inclusion

I’ve begun reflecting on the year a bit earlier than usual. Starting today, I’ll publish a self-evaluation each week for one of my “Four Things to Be Relentless about in 2019.” My four things were Inclusion, Reality, Collaboration, and Positivity. This is how I summarized Thing 1: Inclusion Many areas that my work touches—pedagogy at […]

Justin Slocum Bailey listening to the waves on a rocky beach in Boston

3 Mantras for Calm Presence in the Classroom

How students perceive our presence in the classroom has a huge impact on everything from their trust in us to their ability to learn efficiently. This is partly due to mirror neurons and partly because how we feel (or act like we feel) affects our communication, our enthusiasm, our attention to students’ needs, and even […]

Honoring curiosity & risk while keeping class on track

It’s great when students are curious. It’s exciting when students aim high. It’s rewarding when students make connections. It’s thrilling when students take risks. But what about those times when one of these can get the class too far off track, or when satisfying one student’s curiosity would lose the rest, or when a student […]

Do You Really Care about Human Beings?

Nothing is as important as human beings. Not ideas, not subjects, not institutions, not goals, not lessons, not information, nothing. This hit me harder than usual in the past week during some fraught threads on social media. I realized that I was drawn to some views more than others not just because of the overall […]

How Did This Get Here? (Activity + Add-On)

How Did This Get Here? is a simple, no-prep interaction that can be a standalone activity or a recurring routine. Inspired by “Thank the Farmer,” an activity in Susan Kaiser Greenland’s Mindful Games (p. 47), it invites students to ponder the provenance of an item they take for granted. Channeled through my language-teacher-brain, it also fosters […]

Introducing: Tuned-In Teacher Mantras

Both during my summer travels and in online teacher communities a recent pattern has stood out: anxiety for the new school year, often in spite of—or perhaps because of—extensive prior experience. Others experiencing anxiety are new to the profession or, like you, are boldly trying new ways of teaching. I identify so strongly with this […]

Marianne’s Takeaways from Agen Language Lab with JSB

Note: Marianne shared the following write-up with me after Day 4 (of 5) of my Latin language lab at the Agen Workshop that concluded yesterday. I found her observations to be both encouraging and practical. I have added several links to help you find more information about the things she mentions. Enjoy! Justin ~~~ In […]

1 Like 1 Answer – ‘We Teach Languages’ Edition

Dr. Stacey Margarita Johnson of the We Teach Languages podcast recently kickstarted this fun, instructive, community-building game, “1 Like 1 Answer.” For this post, I thought I would simply share my responses without comment (but with links added!). Feel free to join the discussion in the comments section below or on Twitter, and to let […]