Teaching Reflection: Week 28

Well, I haven’t been to work for a week, but I’ve been working!

Honestly, I feel like I’m in my lane right now. Remote teaching (which I have done before) gives me a lot of what I want out of teaching. I have the time to think about what I want my students to focus on, and research the materials that I want to offer them. I’ve already learned so much about the different language apps and materials available for French online and I have a lot of ideas for how I can tailor them for my students and this situation.

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Teaching Reflection: Weeks 26/27

Teaching is traumatizing. The weight of everything has given me anxiety that has me crawling out of my skin before I have to go to work, made me vomit, and unable to function. We had a parent-teacher conference day this week, which meant no students at work. I felt so light getting up and at work, and actually got to leave my building for lunch. I had energy after work. It reminded me that this is an abnormal situation. A job is work, and so it’s not always going to be fun or enjoyable. But this is different.

At the same time, I love my students. I’ve seen so much progress and I’ve developed such rich relationships with them. A random student came in to my class today and started trolling me about the Flyers loss. One of my 6th graders asked a question basically about translanguaging. I explained it to them with an example sentence (Je vais to la escuela), and they lit up (especially my Spanish-speaking kids)! In the past, I’ve told my Filipino Tagalog-speaking students can use their language in taking notes, and they were so excited. We’ve had discussions about race and racism in talking about the coronavirus, and the kids with the loudest voices have some of the best takes.

Idk. I’m just trying to process it all.

Teaching Reflection: Weeks 23/24/25

The past couple of weeks have been a rollercoaster emotionally. I took my first emergency mental health day. The dread I felt in going back to work that day was overwhelming and honestly even though I made it to work the rest of week, every minute was a struggle.

But then there were the conversations I had with students about race and culture in Africa versus the U.S. versus France. My kids asked why I hadn’t stayed in France when they learned that I had lived there. I told them there all the same problems there as in America, which prompted them to ask about racism in France.

The past week has been ok. Most of my classes have settled into the semester and the quarter is almost halfway done! One student asked me what we’re gonna do come June, but I’m gonna wait to surprise them with the fact that it’s pretty much gonna be us watching the NHL playoffs!

Teaching Reflection: Week 22

  1. Culturally responsive teaching: I introduced family language in French using Black Panther and my predominantly Black 8th grade class LOVED it. I used a clip from the movie (dubbed in French), and they were so excited to talk about it. They did groan at first about not being able to watch in English, of course. I had a lot of fun teaching those lessons. And that class did better overall on the quiz than my other 8th graders! #blackfutures
  2. Building relationships: I had a student stay after for help with his homework, which became a therapy session in the end. He didn’t ask for advice or anything, he just talked about what was going on in his life. As he was leaving, he noted how much he had talked and how it had been nice for someone to listen.

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Teaching Reflection: Week 20/21

Negotiated syllabus: I love the negotiated syllabus because it makes me (and hopefully my students) so intentional.

Shout out to the critical crew at the University of Hawaiʻi, Second Language Studies department: I felt really comfortable scaffolding activities to help students contribute to making the syllabus There’s a lot that we had no choice on (county requirements), but I was surprised by how much they bought into deciding things like expectations for themselves and specific things they want to learn about. I feel a lot of more comfortable in planning lessons since I’ve surveyed them on how they want to learn.

Watching students develop: It’s also been interesting seeing them hit different points of puberty/maturity. The 6th graders are starting to develop attitudes, the 7th graders are getting bigger attitudes, the 8th graders are becoming teenagers. It’s making me thinking more about myself in middle school.

Other thoughts: I’m feeling more energized by the start of the third quarter. I feel like the second was a lot about surviving. I feel like I’m beginning to emerge from the weight of everything that’s been put on me. I’m just hoping I can keep some of that as February/March/April go on.

Also have started showing my kids “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and they are HOOKED.