I am struggling to narrow down my focus for this post before our next face to face, which is why I have put it off for so long. I conducted many interviews with students about their needs in both my French and English classes. I’ve found it hard, however, to get anything terribly meaningful out of them. Not because they weren’t being honest, but because they’re teenagers, and most of them focused on not having enough time in a day and/or needing more sleep. Both of these needs are fair, of course, but I am not convinced I should develop an action plan around them. I also (in all honesty) feel like we sometimes give students a little too much voice in the classroom these days.
When I tried to narrow down my own thoughts, I found it almost impossible to decide what to focus on. In my English classes, I wonder about how to get them more engaged in the reading? How to get some of my more reluctant writers to take pride in their work? How to foster more empathy, resiliency, and curiosity? In my Core French classes, I wonder how to help them develop fluency when I only get to see them a few times a week? How do I encourage them to speak French to each other when they are in class? And finally, in my Open French Course, how do I manage 22 students learning a language in a Harkness classroom? The space is awkward and it makes classroom management a challenge. These are probably my most pressing questions, though I have many more.
Fortunately, I’ve seen many of these questions come up with other people’s posts. I really loved reading @lfarooq and @jbairos‘ posts because I heard many of the same comments from my students and I have many of the same concerns.
I am eager for Saturday to get some help sorting out my brain and deciding which question(s) to focus on.
ps. Please note that the photo below is not me but when I searched “confused” in free photos, she seemed to fit the bill.