In this post:
1. You Can't Out-Candice Candice (reflection+video)
2. Sane Saturday (May 9), a perfect mix of relaxation, camaraderie, and PD
3. Low Prep | High Success online workshop (Saturday, May 16)
You Can't Out-Candice Candice
The summer between when I was hired to create a Latin program at a school in Los Angeles and the beginning of that school year, I found out that I would also be teaching multiple English classes in the place of a teacher who would be spending the year partly on maternity leave and partly on a book tour. Her other classes were picked up by someone who was a veteran elementary and history teacher, but hadn’t taught English. I’ll call him Winston for fun.
That summer, Winston and I spent a ton of time bouncing ideas off each other and scouring the notes that Candice, the leave-taking teacher, had shared with us, trying to figure out how to reproduce her courses as faithfully as possible—both out of respect for her and because we knew that she was a master teacher. As a first-year teacher, I was even more caught up in the idea of cloning her classes than Winston was.
One day while we were checking in about our planning progress, Winston made this statement that helped both of us come to our senses: You Can’t Out-Candice Candice. Meaning, no matter how hard you try, your class and your teaching are never really going to look like Candice’s. And that’s okay, even good: It’s not about teaching the way another person does; it’s about teaching how you do and how you can, informed by your training, your experience, your reading, your peers, and feedback.
I don’t know if you have a teacher (or several) that you try to be like or just wish you were like, but I can tell you that you won’t be—and you definitely won’t be like the version of another teacher that you construct based on what you see on social media or even a few live observations. What you can do is keep reflecting, keep incorporating feedback, keep learning, keep growing. (Remember Mantra 5, You Are What’s Best for Your Students!)
Imitation, even emulation, can be alright. But You Can’t Out-Candice Candice—and you don’t have to.
I participated in CI-SOS Sane Saturday last week and it was a wonderful combination of relaxation, encouragement, support, professional development, and processing. It's basically a series of coffee hours with a few short, scheduled presentations and Q&A germane to virtual teaching. This Saturday, May 9, I'll be sharing tips and tricks for using virtual backgrounds to enhance input and interaction in synchronous class meetings or in instructional videos. Others sharing are Alina Filipescu, Dahiana Castro, and La Maestra Loca, Annabelle Williamson.
A single registration provides access to the full program, as well as some additional pre-recorded webinars—and helps support educators like me who have lost much of our income to the lockdown!
See the full Sane Saturday lineup and register here.
Low Prep | High Success—online
The Low Prep | High Success workshop scheduled for Saturday, May 16, will no longer be held in Wisconsin, but online—meaning people can attend from wherever! I'll be sharing comprehensible-input-rich strategies that help students achieve ACTFL Standards in all communicative modes—interpretive (listening & reading), interpersonal, presentational (writing & speaking)—without your having to prep more. Given the current and foreseeable learning environment, I will highlight online applications of the strategies, which participants will learn how to apply to any level—making for even less prep—and variations that allow the same tasks to be reused regularly with the same class. Check out more details and register here.
You Can't Out-Candice Candice—Mantra 25 video
The reflection above is based on this video from the Tuned-In Teacher Mantras series:
If you find this kind of thing—or anything else I do—helpful and want there to be more of it, consider supporting my work at my Ko-fi page, where I offer lots of exclusive content. Every little bit helps, especially during this season when several months of my regular work have been canceled.