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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

My Outfits Are Ready for ACTFL

Are you? Tomorrow I head to New Orleans to join old and new friends in the CI Posse, a growing group of twenty-odd teachers and content creators working together to boost joy and success at ACTFL 2018 and beyond. If you haven’t discovered it yet, check out the CI Posse blog, which includes my “Why […]

Your Teaching Body, pt 2: Movement & Posture

Your movement and posture can set the tone of your teaching without your changing anything else. If the post on body location and variation felt a tad intricate, I bet you’ll find this one simple, practical, and encouraging! (This post is the fourth in a series on tricks and techniques that observers in my classes at this […]

Your Teaching Body, pt 1: Location & Variation

Do you think of your body as an instrument for teaching? Your physical self is so incredibly versatile and valuable that I have planned no fewer than FIVE POSTS on making the most of it and taking care of it! Here’s a little overview: (This post is itself the third in a series on tricks […]

Cell Phone Retell + Tricks for Centuple Exposure

Back from blogging exile, I’m itching to share a series on tricks and techniques that observers in my classes at this summer’s iFLT and Express Fluency conferences found especially memorable! I’m especially excited to offer an expansive collection of voice and body techniques for joyful, successful teaching. See also: techniques highlighted after Express Fluency ‘17, including […]

That Thing You Used to Do (#EdMarchSanity 3)

March is over, but, like March Madness, #EdMarchSanity continues into April! A simple way to refresh your classes without needing to learn or do a bunch of new stuff is to dust off a task or routine that you haven’t done in a while. This may seem obvious, but I’m amazed when I think of […]

ZERO PREP Smorgasbord (#EdMarchSanity 1)

Could you use some ZERO PREP routines and activities during this long month? Following French teacher Rebecca Blouwolff’s inspiring lead, I’m putting out several posts in March and beyond with simple ideas for peace, balance, joy, and success. After brainstorming four or five #EdMarchSanity topics, I remembered that this whole blog is basically about learning and […]