Teaching and the Body

When teaching, I often think about the physical aspect of how teachers and learners begin the experience. From the very moment students enter the space there are overt and subtle messages about how this experience will unfold. This is also true with online learning as well. The instructor defines many aspects of the learning space; the learning space is inclusive or not, accessible or not. Continue reading “Teaching and the Body”

Code Switching

three women laughing together in a circle
Photo credit: Priscilla du Preezn on Unsplash

Code switching is just a fancy way to talk about the way we use language – one or more – ways of speaking and choice of words to connect and fit in. 

When I was kid I grew up in a very poor neighborhood with the kind of address that when you declare it, evokes knowing glances and assumptions I didn’t bother addressing.

This National Public Radio (United States Public Radio) blog post explains code switching using video of former US President Barack Obama in a US burger restaurant, American actress and singer Beyoncé playing pool and a young boy seamlessly switching between three languages and gives the reader and listener a sense of just how powerful and fluid code switching can be.


We recently completed a peer feedback assignment in a University of Massachusetts at Boston Instructional Design course that I’m taking this semster. As I completed a review, I noticed the highly polished and professional voice that one of my classmates used in her narration. When I mentioned this to her she told me, “oh yes, even my kids tell me that they know when Mommy is using her special professional voice when they listen”.

Knowingly or unknowingly, we regularly code switch- some more than others. How and when do you code switch? How has your ability to do this benefitted you professionally?

Connie Malamed’s “10 Qualities of the Ideal Instructional Designer” as a guide.

Connie Malamed maintains a comprehensive, well organized and informative site called the eLearning Coach. I recently found this article and used this list of ten qualities to consider these qualities in relation to teaching and also determine how one might develop these qualities where needed. Three of the qualities stood out to me as a good foundation to explore.

Connie focuses on eLearning development but when I reviewed the list I saw that many of the qualities are universal in instructional design and training.

Continue reading “Connie Malamed’s “10 Qualities of the Ideal Instructional Designer” as a guide.”

Teaching Parents of English Language Learners

During the spring and summer I teach parents of English language learners in Massachusetts public schools. This is one part of my work that I enjoy immensely. I have complete freedom to determine curriculum and content and prefer to facilitate a discussion around topics rather than teach. Typically, twelve to eighteen parents attend and often bring their children. Some of the programs are on school nights and some children come to the program to guide parents with limited English.

Continue reading “Teaching Parents of English Language Learners”