Archive for August, 2009

Circling Pictures a la Scott

I’m trying circling with pictures again this year.  I’m resisting the little voice in the back of my head that wants me to get with the grammar syllabus program–and even the one that wants me to get with the Raconte-moi encore program.  I manage about 2 more kids about every other day, and, while my classes are not as exciting and funny as watching or doing demos with adults, they’re listening.  Now kids are shooting their hands in the air when I grab the pile of pictures, blurting out, “do me!  Do me!”  (Sorry, not in French.  My bad.)  They’ve learned each other’s names and know who went camping in her backyard and who went camping at Flat Rock.  I’ve learned that at Flat Rock camp, the counselors had them eat mud.  According to the counselors, there is edible mud.  Wow!  What a story cue.

Confessions:  I still have trouble continuing for more than 5-15 minutes at a time.  I go to fast.  I feel bored.  I look at the kids and see bored faces.  Are they bored?  Probably not.  They’re probably just intent on understanding, but I feel bad.  I lapse into English.  I don’t stop English from coming out of their mouths quick enough.  I have started a chapter in Raconte-moi  encore with my ‘advanced’ kids.  I have done a speaking test with my 6th graders to keep up with the district syllabus (and to have a grade for them.)  I get all involved in listening to myself speak French and forget to go slow enough.  I haven’t done near enough pop quizzes to keep me on track.  But…

I’m having fun.  The kids don’t hate coming to French.  I’m faking the competent and confidence thing as hard as I can, and screaming ‘shut up!’ at all the little grammar goddess and curriculum covering voices in my head.

Wish me luck!

Radio again

Just a random plug.  I found a new radio station in Central Indiana  91.9 FM.  It plays totally random music.  Okay, eclectic.  As long as I can remember, I’ve been complaining about radio.  Oldies stations only play oldies (and how did oldies come to mean 80’s? never mind, different rant).  My NPR station tends towards classical music.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love the intelligent talk, but I like music.  Talk stations rant.  Humorous DJs aren’t very funny and are often vulgar.

One day last week I was trolling for a new station, and I heard French.  Then an oldie.  Then something I’d never heard before.  Then some classical, symphonic music.  I’m hooked.  I don’t like everything I hear, but that’s okay.  There’s something different.  I just heard 3  different versions of Louie, Louie–and one with words you can understand.  I’m entertained, I’m curious about what’s coming next, and nobody is making fart jokes or ranting about health care.  I’m hooked.

Back to School

Well, it’s that time again.  The desk isn’t messy yet, but it’s on it’s way.

As long as I can remember, I’ve never had a year without ‘back to school’, and the feelings haven’t changed much.  Back to school means new school supplies.  New crayons, new markers, a new lunch box. When I was 5 and today.  Although I no longer sit at the kitchen table and practice pouring milk into my thermos. I’m actually quite good at pouring milk now.

Back to school means anxiety.  The same worries in 1959 and 2009.  Will my new teacher like me? (Will my new principal like me?)  Will I like my new teacher?  (my new principal?)  Will the kids like me?

Wednesday I meet my old and new kids, and Tuesday night, just like every night before the first day of school I can remember, I will be anxious and excited.  I will have trouble sleeping.  I will worry so much about oversleeping that I will wake up hours too early and be afraid to go back to sleep.  I will put on my school clothes, and put on my confident face, and pretend that I’m not as nervous about what this year will bring as my new-to-middle-school 6th graders.  At least I know where my class is, and I don’t have a locker to figure out how to open.  And, just like every year I can remember, if I fake competence and confidence the first few days, by next week I won’t be faking it any more.

And my desk will be suitably messy.

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