Iowa World
Language Association

How much further?

12 Apr 2013 11:51 AM | Carrie Morris

At this time of the term, I think it’s safe to say that students as well as teachers are starting to run out of gas a little.  This is my attempt to help to put a little zip back into your attitude and some spring in your step so that we finish the year on a positive note.  So here are some things that may help to keep in mind.

YOUR CLASS CAN BE THAT ONE BRIGHT SPOT.  At the 2011 conference, Ellen Bernard Shrager made some comments that I haven’t forgotten.  She talked about how some of our students don’t come from the very best environments and our class may be the best part of their day.  They may feel safe, happy, cared about, and excited in our classrooms.  Even if that is true for just one student, think of that one student when you walk into your next class.  You can help him/her have a great day.  Teach every class as if there is at least one of these students in it.

YOU SET THE TONE.  I know I have had days where I feel less than energetic or less than prepared.  Recently, I decided to combat that with a dose of energy and positive attitude.  I started my second semester class like I had the most exciting story to tell them.  It was just two minutes, but I used gestures, dramatic faces, and simple enough language to tell them what happened to me at a restaurant.  They listened, responded appropriately, asked questions and they were off to the races.  They worked so well in conversation activities, stayed engaged and kept the energy level up for the rest of the almost two-hour class.  I feel almost certain that those students didn’t spend a single minute disengaged from the task at hand.    

WE HAVE ONE OF THE MOST FUN JOBS EVER.  Administrative responsibilities aside, when we are in our classrooms with our students, what we do is so much fun.  We wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t to some point.  No matter what is going on outside the classroom, we have a few minutes to be with students and teach them another language and culture.  I firmly believe that our attitude dictates how well it goes.

I hope this helps you to get through these last few weeks.  Summer will be here soon. 


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