Crash and burn!

It’s been a while since a class of 85 minutes seemed to be three hours long. Years! Today it all came back to me.

I don’t really have a good year’s ending for my intermediates. We finished reading our book, and now there really isn’t enough focus to be able to read another book (only four more days of class, one of which is a final). We started a cool new song today (a Tango sort of love song), and just writing this is making me think that we could do some reading about the group and the song itself, if I can find anything.

We told a story, watched a 36-second video and then I retraced steps to get to the oral presentations we didn’t get to finish last week. Maybe we’ll just start telling our final story. I have to finish setting up all the statements and questions for the reading/vocab part of the final. I also have to to figure out what I want them to write for the final. AARGH! Why don’t I have a master plan in place?

Despite all my best intentions, we haven’t been playing games lately.


6 responses to “Crash and burn!

  1. It is the end of the year. Reflect. Post in your calendar for next year two months out from the end of the school. Then you can be pro-active for next year. This year just get it done. And breathe–the moment is as it is.


  2. You are the wise woman that I needed today! Thanks!


  3. Well, I think that is all any of us can do at this time of year. The stress and demands of the school year ending in family lives is tremendous. Let us just get it done. One beautiful thing about teaching is that we do get this short time where we can renew and reflect and plan well for the next teaching year. No need to beat ourselves. Just breathe, let it go, and forge ahead with reflection.


  4. At least, the end of your school year is near… I still have full three weeks, two days and finals! Counted today because I had an ARRRGH! moment myself with one of my morning classes. They all lost focus, interest and I lost control of the class. Hate that feeling! None of the usual strategies seemed to work for more that a minute. I might have to stir some dust on Monday and write a few people up if there’s no change. The question is: at this point, do they care? And how do ideal with that? Any advice?


    • I have stopped (or started) each of my classes with a little talk on what I’ve been trying to do with them, how they can continue their Russian over the summer if they are in the group that realizes they don’t want to lose any time. I’ve reinforced that in these last few days I want them to get as much as they can, rather than as little as they can. And I am focusing on the ones who are still looking alert with me. I’ve told them that I’m not giving up on anyone, but I’m not going to expend more energy than they do because it’s the end of the year and I want to enjoy the kids who are demonstrating their interest (and I’m coming down really hard on disrupters). For some reason that little speech has perked kids up. I had one non-speaker give a book talk today that made me feel that the year was worth it just for the improvement he has made.


  5. Yep, I am looking for the growth in folks and really giving direct positive feedback to individuals and coming down with a ton of bricks on those who aren’t cooperating. Results are mixed but the kids who are always on target deserve to know they are appreciated. so less whole group “get it togethers” and a lot more in front of others calling forth praise where it is due.


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