Thinking About Taping

When I was a trumpet performance major in college I spent hours listening to different players. So much, that my sound began to sound exactly like the people I was listening to. Not only was I listening to others, but I also recorded myself from time to time and found it to be beneficial. I would record something that I was really proud of and listen to it in the car on the way home and consequently found numerous errors as well as shining points. There is something powerful about observation of others and self that helps to transform what we do. Some of it may even be subconscious and we have no idea what affect it has on us.

Well, I have spent hours watching other tprs teachers. I started with the mainline teachers, Blaine Ray and Susie Gross. After my initial experience with it I decided that I needed to get out there and see more teachers in order to find my style as a teacher. So, I visited Ben Slavic in Denver and boy did he give me a lot to think about. My first year of teaching I expanded my viewings to the fluency fast DVDs with Von Ray and again Blaine. I started to really see how people have success with tprs with totally different personalities. Not everyone has to be loud and in your face all the time. It really is a personality thing. This summer I expanded to Bryce Hedstrom and Jason Fritze as well as Linda Li. The stability of Bryce and the energy of Jason really had a huge affect on the way I am teaching this year. I hope there is more! I will get down to see Joe Neilson this fall and I have no idea what that will bring, but I am ready for it. All in all, observation has really transformed my thoughts of tprs and has given me so many ideas that I almost don’t have time to do all of them. But I am forgetting about observing one more person. A person that I am not sure I want to look at for fear of what I might see…myself.

It’s true, I wonder what I will see. I know that I will eventually tape myself, but really I have been hesitant about it. Why? I know it will help. I often say things like, “I just don’t have time.” That is a pretty valid argument, but I am finding that I have more time than I used to and I think I am ready for it.

So I will begin the journey of video taping and I may post some of it on the web for advice or comments. Be gentle. I am hoping that this step of watching tape will take me to a new level. A place where students acquire Spanish like never before in my class. It may be a painful road, but I am willing to take the first step.



Filed under Teaching Discoveries

5 responses to “Thinking About Taping

  1. Jim Tripp

    I look forward to seeing you teach Thomas, I hope it works out!

    P.S. The posts have been great, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • thomasyoung

      Thanks, Jim. I started writing again because of your encouragement. Hopefully something good will come out of it. I appreciate your comments.

  2. Carla

    I’m looking forward to it too. Thanks for taking the leap.

  3. How do you get to see all these wonderful teachers? I just got Ben Slavic’s DVDs, so I’ve gotten some insight into what his classroom is like, but I can’t find any others to watch? Do you go to their schools? If so, where do you live and how far is it to visit them? Do you pay for this or does your school district? I want/need more! I love watching other teachers teach!!

    • thomasyoung

      Hi Bess,

      The first thing I did was observe Ben at his school in Colorado. I paid for this, but I live in Nebraska so it wasn’t too far. Then, I purchased the Fluency Fast DVDs from Blaine Ray’s site, This really started to get me in the right direction and I watched them a lot. The two DVDs that helped me the most were Von Ray and Blaine Ray. Then, I went to the local University library to see if they had any tprs materials or videos. To my surprise, I found the 2004 National Convention DVD. On that DVD was Susan Gross, Blaine Ray, and an excerpt with Joe Neilson. All of these videos so far have not been real life, class examples. However, I found them to be better than nothing.

      Then this last Spring I observed Bryce Hedstrom teach a class at a community college. This was also especially helpful and he helped me find a lot of missing pieces to my style of tprs. This summer I also attended the Fluency Fast classes in Denver with the sole purpose of observing Jason Fritze for 4 days. That was an eye-opening experience and really opened my mind to the idea that what we do can be so much more than tprs. TPRS is a piece of the puzzle of CI language instruction along with reading techniques and brain research.

      My next observation will be Joe Neilson at the end of October. My school had some grant money and they are paying for the whole thing. I really feel blessed! All of the other observations, however, were the result of my research, time, and money. It really has not cost all that much and I consider it worth it because I want to learn tprs so bad. I can’t tell you how much it has paid off. I have improved so much because of it! Trust me, though, I still have a long way to go!

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you need more information.

      Take care,


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