Like everyone else in this world, I’m figuring things out day by day. Both personal and work things. I’m thankful to have more time for that balance. I’m also thankful to have more time to plan out the kinds of lessons that I want to. The past 2 weeks especially have been a bit all over the place work-wise, as the county was figuring out how to do online learning on the fly.Continue reading
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.
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.
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!
- 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
- 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.