I have a really good excuse for neglecting this blog. I am currently taking a mandatory class that is as close to torture as the Geneva Convention will allow. Seven hours a day, for seven days, ostensibly to teach me and my twenty-four fellow captives how to properly teach students who are not native English speakers.
Many of us go years without having any such students, many of us have taught for over thirty years and have figured out very successful ways to teach almost anyone who shows up in our classroom, but noooo. That's not relevant. They have to TEACH us.
Like most inane schemes dreampt up by professional academics, there are acronyms. LOTS of acronyms. And buzz words. Oh how they love coining new words. For example, instead of the very servicable, 'visual aids' and 'props,' there is now the preferred term, 'realia.' and instead of 'conversational English' we now say BICS. And instead of academic language we now say, 'CULP.' And this is worth almost fifty hours of my life, to learn things like this, from a well-meaning woman who has been teaching elementary school for way too long, so that she has really, really cute terms for things, like 'popcorn' for when one person reads a paragraph, and then picks the next person to read, or 'carrousel' for some shared learning activity. Favorite obfuscation so far? Affective Domain, their hi-falutin' term for making a warm, safe, welcoming classroom. Yeah, welcome to my affective domain, kids.... Oops, gotta run so I won't be late to day six of torture-by-teaching. I already have two passive-agressive tardies, and I've been spoken to.