A “Parent Russian” class last night re-taught me a lesson I evidently need to repeat every so often.
Two weeks in a row, immersion students have attended with their parents. Last night, there were two brand new attendees to the (third weekly) class, and one who had simply missed the second. There was also a boy from fifth grade immersion Russian. I was expecting him to settle in a corner of the room and do his homework.
Instead, as we repeated the vocabulary from the last two weeks by watching the little facebook film about the guy who gets a date by flirting with the girl in the car next to him, the boy was completely attentive. Granted, the video was compelling, but we spent a great deal of time building up to it. (Thanks a million for the code, Cindy!! Made in CCCP учитесь парни.)
I had a sudden memory of when Blaine visited us. As he told stories for the second night of Spanish class, our Spanish-speaking custodian was sitting on a table in the back of the class, swinging his legs and roaring with laughter.
Not all of us are Blaine, I least of all. But I acquired enough Spanish that night to talk with my custodian for the first time, and he was anxious to come to the next class. A good lesson should be interesting for all parties.
It’s a little harder to set such classes up for a mixed level high-school class, especially as some of HS students have to act like they don’t care, but in the end, that’s why my students like Russian so much. When I’m doing things right, they’re engaged and interested for reasons beyond the “level” of the class.