Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mamas–the smiling moms, the screaming moms, the waiting moms, the weeping moms…no matter what motherhood looks like in your life, today is for you.

Meet one of my moms

I have a really amazing biological mom, and I also have some equally amazing other kinds of moms in my life. And here, today, I want to celebrate a mom who is no stranger to most of you!!

Michele Whaley is a master teacher and instructional coach that works with school districts and organizations to equip teachers for success with comprehension based instruction


You know Michele–or at least, you know her work! Michele was the 2016 PNCFL Teacher of the Year Finalist and is responsible for developing or discovering many of the strategies that we comprehension based teachers know and love. Michele and Laurie Clarcq developed Embedded Reading; Michele connected language teachers with Dr. Ashley Hastings and drew attention to his work; she saw the potential for training and growth in Bill VanPatten’s work and brought him to the Alaska state conference before Tea with BVP was brewing. Heck, I realized last week that she posted about using MAFIA in her classes years before I did!

Michele is a thinker, a finder, and an innovator–and she is my pedagogical mama. Michele introduced me to comprehension based teaching (at the time, in the form of pure TPRS), and she guided, coached, and nurtured me in my first few years of teaching. Now that I am out of the classroom and living thousands of miles away, she continues to mentor me and share with me all the new thoughts she is thinking about language teaching. I am so grateful for Michele and her profound impact on my life.


I bet you have a pedagogical mom or dad too. Someone that has given you a family, brought you into a new world of teaching, breathed LIFE into your classroom and your spirit. Someone that has guided and nurtured you through the trials and triumphs in your classroom and your career.

This Mother’s Day–on the heels of Teacher Appreciation Week–would you take a moment to reach out to that individual (or those individuals?) and say thank you for who they are to you?

Let’s follow the example of these impactful individuals in our lives and always be contributors to our profession–to our colleagues and to the next generation of language teachers!

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Hey, teacher--this mother's day, celebrate the women (and men!) that have impacted your teaching practice.

17 replies on “Celebrate your Teacher Mom!

  1. My grandmother’s we’re teachers and my mom was a teacher. Here’s to them. It’s in our blood! Now my son is studying to become a teacher…

  2. Hey Martina – thanks for this post. It’s so true that we need to think about all of the people that inspire us and make us believe that we can do anything!! Thank you! On a separate note, how did you make the Happy Mother’s Day picture at the end of your post?

    1. With Pages! I make everything with pages 🙂 I just overlaid text on an image then exported it into a pdf and cropped as a JPEG

  3. My all time language parent is Blaine Ray. I owe him everything. I am the teacher I am today because of him. Also, two language moms who were critical in my CI upbringing (probably without knowing that they had such a big impact in my journey) are Katya Paukova and Laurie Clarq. And I’m going to add one more. One parent that helps me focus and is there for me, guiding me, one that I can ALWAYS count on no matter how deep I am in a hole is Martina Bex. A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL! 🙂

  4. I first heard about TPRS a few years ago while subbing. When I wanted to learn more, almost all of my searches led to your site. You were the source from which my basic understanding of teaching with CI/TPRS began… and continues to grow. I owe you a debt of gratitude for sharing so generously!

    At long last, I’m proud to announce that you are now the “grandma” to a new comprehension-based French reader! (Thanks to the guidance of my other language mom, the phenomenal Carol Gaab.) If you send me your address I’ll send you a copy.

    Thanks, “Mom”, it all began with you. <3

    1. Kim!! I already own it! It is sitting on my nightstand waiting to be read! I had no idea it was my grandchild LOL! I will have to start reading it tonight!

  5. Wow. Just found this now, when I was sending a link to your page to a colleague, saying that whenever I need inspiration, I come here. Hugs.

  6. I just found this “perusing” resources for my next Zoom class(#COVIDTEACHG !). I want to thank you Martina for being an amazing source of inspiration. I would not know you if I had not crossed path with the amazing Anna Glitcher and Rachelle Adams. A big shout out to the both of them who changed my life for the best!

  7. Michele is my teacher sister… we are so lucky to have her! My teacher mom was Lynn Gillespie, back in my first years (the eighties) teaching in a remote Alaskan village. She personified patience, always stopping everything for a cup of tea with me. And she tackled every aspect of life with her small people, from relationships to academics. Thanks, Martina, for giving me a chance to remember her.

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