It seems as though I probably should have written sooner, but I haven’t. Forgive me.
Since the semester started, things have been a little crazy. I have decided to fully commit myself to the TPRS teaching method which means that at least 50% and pushing upwards of more is in the foreign language. It takes a lot of energy from me, and a lot of thinking on my feet. I would say I am currently having about 50% success with it. My 3rd, 6th, and 7th periods really are buying into it and the results are visible or them. My 4th period and 5th period classes can not behave well enough for me to be in the language without having to break out to discipline them. And 2nd period is slowly getting into it. Even though my rate isn’t that great – I am keeping with it. I can see the results. My students writing and speaking is improving much faster than it ever has. They are beginning to grasp grammar concepts that they had not previously. I am proud of them. It also forces me to slow down and spend more time on the various words which means all my students – fast and slow processors are able to get the information they need.
What has been difficult is my illness. I had a throat/chest cold last week. This week it is a head cold. I was miserable last week. And I was rather cruel in my classroom. Joy factor = 0. I just wanted them to sit down and shut up and listen to the little voice I had left. Most of my students thought I hated them. I didn’t hate them, I just hated how they were acting. This week I have been getting back to myself. I am laughing and joking. I just want my kids to realize learning a language is fun, but also that it is serious. We only have 55 days left until the end of the year test and I am getting afraid about how prepared we are……
All that said, I love my kids. One of the kids I love to death thought I hated him (and I told him he made me mad last week, so it was rightly so), so this morning I sat down and chatted with him about some life issues and then I explained to him that I will never hate him. I might not like how he acts in class or what he says, but I will always love him and be there for him.
And another student who I was never particularly close with I’ve been talking to. He is one of the quietest and sweetest kids I’ve ever met. Also one of the smartest. I talked to him one-on-one for like 15 minutes today and he explained how he wasn’t sure about college or if he could get in, if it was for him, etc. I just told him I knew he would do whatever he set his mind to because he was so smart and dedicated. He got a big smile on his face and just said ok.
So, while my methods are challenging. And I have been sick for two weeks. What I do know is that I still love my kids. It’s G, the first mentioned above, and J, the second mentioned above, who keep me going back every day. My kids will learn Spanish, and will have mannnnyyyy opportunities open to them because of it.