Musings from NTPRS

As my mind is a messy as my desk, random is the order of the day!

Working with Susan Gross as one of her coaches was awesome, and much better this year than last.  Last year I had to concentrate on being a coach.  What do I say now?  Am I being too picky or too nice?  Do I stand up or sit down?  This year I was able to concentrate on the teacher trying out her new skill.  I think I had a much better feel.  This person has some skills, let her teach until she gets the panicked look.  This person is already panicked.  Let me walk her through that.  Everyone was so brave to get up and teach in front of their peers.  Susan even coached me through contrastive grammar in front of everyone, so I think I finally get the purpose and the steps of it.  Maybe this year when I try it in front of the kids, I won’t look for the non-existent coach on the side.

It was magic to watch teachers improve their skills in the coaching sessions from Monday to Thursday. During the scheduled times, during the workshops, we had no time to let people move on, to let everyone have their chance, but during open coaching, people blossomed.  I enjoyed learning some Catalan (thanks, Charles), some Russian (thanks, Michele) and that Beth wanted to play Twister with Antonio Banderas!  People made huge strides and, I hope, left with some confidence that they could actually do this hard thing.

It was early mornings and late nights every day.  On Thursday I stood in the shower with a wet head, wondering whether I’d already washed my hair or not.  So I washed it (lather, rinse, repeat).  And it was a good thing I’d put my toiletries out on the counter, because I stared at them for a few minutes before remembering what to do with them.  That’s the day I decided that free hotel coffee wasn’t going to do it anymore, and I had to go for Starbucks.

Complaints?  Next time I won’t get the conference lunches.  The chicken, mashed potatoes and vegetables were good the first day, but by the third day with the same menu I was a little burnt out.  And it doesn’t last long enough.  Not enough time for coaching.  I wanted to go to Donna’s advanced workshop and Carol’s workshop and work on a few new languages and see Ben and Bryce and Scott’s presentation all at the same time.

And oh yes, who’s bringing the baby next year?

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