Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Día 22 - what to do with Junior High

I really do like Junior High students on a personal level.  They have such energy and enthusiasm for things.  They are incredibly fun to talk to.  Nevertheless, teaching a group and enjoying a group on a personal level are two very different things.

One of the things about TPRS that I was excited about was the idea that I could use the energy of the Junior High students to my advantage in the storytelling.

But for some reason, they did not like my story today.  In fact, they hated it.  I was trying to use a story from Blaine Ray's Look, I can Talk! book.  The storyline is simple.  Nevertheless, the junior high students wanted to have the main character kissing and all sorts of other things.  The storyline was not as riveting for them.  One student commented that the story was boring.  I reminded him that if he was bored in the class, it was his job to suggest things when I needed them to make it interesting.

A strange thing tends to occur in my classroom where students in the Junior High class try and make suggestions before I even ask for suggestions.  Or I have to limit their suggestion to something that fits into the constraint of a very loosely scripted story.  It sounds strange that I would even have to limit it, but there are times when the kids want to throw out so many outlandish things that they get lost by their own craziness.  As a result, I can see further why it's my job to help them sort through the ideas that are able to work and which ones are not with the story.

For example, the students think that when I ask for a place that saying someone's pants is acceptable.  If I play along and have so and so go to someone's pants, the students then get lost and complain that it doesn't make sense that someone went to someone's pants.  I of course explain that everything is possible in Spanish class.  Their suggestion ends up confusing them in the long run.

Tomorrow, I have decided to take a little break from Blaine's materials for the Junior High students specifically and work on some structures that I want to teach them and some storylines that I think they will enjoy more while still acquiring the language.  Let's hope so.

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