It’s a Solid Investment in the Rest of Your Career

It’s a Solid Investment in the Rest of Your Career

Excerpted from Foundations:  A Natural Approach to the (Transition) Year
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If you are ready to make the investment of time and go all-in to learn a framework that can guide you for the rest of your career, no matter what level, what language, what content you need or want to teach, then you are in the right place.  If you are tired of the hamster wheel of bunches and bunches of shiny, fun, yet disconnected ideas, then welcome home, weary fellow traveler.

Rest yourself here in this framework with me this year.  It is designed to hold your hand through the year.  Simply leave this book open to the current session, and use it as your guide through the year.  If you do this, you will cut down your time spent searching for new strategies, and be able to relax and recharge after school. You will know what stress-free teaching is, and what quick, sure planning can look and feel like. You will also know what it means to have engaged students who exhibit a real desire to be in your class, and you will become more rested and settled so that you can enjoy these engaged, eager learners each day in class. 

The step-by-step coaching programs found in the book “Foundations” and in Curriculum Club and Summer Institutes are designed for your growth and peace of mind as much as for your student's success.  Self-care and relaxation are the foundation of successful teaching.  Proficiency-based teaching, especially of beginning students, requires more of us emotionally.  It requires us to connect, and connect again, and to be with our students, really be with them, day after day.  It requires us to be responsive to a child’s energy, to maintain eye contact with face after face, day after day, down through the long arc of the school year, rain or shine, sleet or hail, well-rested or tired, or eyes red and raw from whatever life has thrown your way lately.

Posted by Stepping Stones for World Language on Monday, August 16, 2021

Your students deserve a well-rested, calm teacher in front of them in the classroom.  As well-rested and calm as possible, given how life can toss us around.

Some might see it as hubris to suggest that you make Stepping Stones your sole source of ideas and professional development for the year.  I see it as a rescue move. 

If you can put your trust in the detailed system that Stepping Stone lays out for you, a product of many years of testing and refining, I predict that you will feel a shift.  This year will be an important pivot point for your career and your sense of ease and confidence as a teacher.  I predict that you will begin to feel calmer, more centered, more grounded, and less frazzled and confused and that your calmness will transfer into your students and be observable by anyone who comes into your classroom.  

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  A whole new approach to the year!  How exciting for you!

I take my obligation to our profession very seriously, and to you, my dear reader.  Let’s work through this year together, hand in hand, and let’s turn our backs for a time on the mad online dash to find the Next New Thing.  

Let’s get you strong and centered, and let’s tend to your skills, one session at a time, not leaving a session until you have mastered it. You will be amazed to see how that process works for you.

I have hammered out the ideas and strategies in each of the instructional sessions in the “Foundations” book with class after class, year after year, focusing my entire career 100% only on proficiency-based teaching.  I have been there.  And I have picked myself up, feelings bruised, confidence shaken, and I have wrestled this way of teaching into something that actually works for me, brings smiles to my face, and allows me to relax, finally, into teaching.  

I know how it is.  Perhaps one day we can all meet up and exchange stories and congratulate each other on doing real work, tough work, challenging and emotional, and big, important work.  

I would be honored to serve as your pilot this year. Fasten your seat belts.  Get ready for liftoff.  On y va!

Your pal, 
Tina Hargaden


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