OK, I had a pretty decent plan for a section of German II today (an embedded story that we generate based on three sentences, etc. etc.) when right before class one of my students starts complaining about his assigned seat and wanted to move.  Feeling a little cheeky today I went and sat in his seat and offered to let him teach the class.  He declined but then Devin–the barometer student to beat all barometer students–jumps up and tells me he will take me up on my offer.

I slide over to Devin’s seat, settle in and wonder how many minutes this would last.  Devin wrote “This is English class” on the board, so keeping up my snarky attitude (hey something about the back row brings it out in me) I said, “Oh, that means you’ll speak English and we’ll all speak German.”  The class agreed and off we went.

The thing is, Devin had the act down cold.  I had already written the daily target phrases on the board, so after the bell rings Devin launches into the word gesturing phase.  He not only negotiated gestures with everybody, but even organized a couple of skits for the words.  Then he picks up a word list of the quarter’s target words I happened to have laying on my podium and then taught from that.  He grabbed props, organized skits, the whole nine yards. 

I thought we’d get ten minutes tops.  He kept it up the entire period and everybody was pulling for him enough that they stayed with him.  He became “Herr Smith” and I became “Nathan.”  It was great. That’s the wierd thing about the routines we establish: they work.


4 responses to “Devin

  1. All I can say is, “Awesome.” Wish I could watch you sometime!! Or maybe watch your kid teach!


  2. We should all train little Devins – for those days when we need a break. Nathan, you’re really covering all the bases!!! And a what a great inspiration Devin must have been for his fellow classmates. That story made my day!


  3. And the fish that got away? Well I bet the next time he is offered a chance to teach for you, he’ll jump for it. Devin got a lot for his effort in peer points as well as teacher points. But the peer points are what counted the most. I am sure Devin rode high on that experience the rest of the day. Fantastic!


  4. Honestly, I just showed up for class. You never know what might happen. I left class yesterday actually more tired out than normal because I was on the edge of my seat hoping that he would do well. I think other people were too; the kid sitting next to me kept pleading with me to let him take out his cellphone so he could record what was going on.

    I saw Devin in the hallway after school and he kept telling me how much fun that was and how much he liked teaching. Who knows, maybe somebody else just caught the bug.


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