After suffering a few days have flopped for my weekend chat activity on some different Mondays, part of me wants to scrap the activity completely. The problem is when the students don't want to make it interesting or entertaining, they won't and class that relies on participation will be painful. I remind them that it's as boring as we make it (as a class) and I remind them of their participation. Nevertheless, there are still some "off day's"
I currently envision myself on a road with two potential outcomes:
1. start planning out my lessons more allowing the TPRS I've grown to enjoy to become much more mechanical
2. pick myself up after each failure, analyze where the problem occurred and figure out a solution (if possible) for the next time. For example... if a story flops with the class, try and figure out what I was doing to make it flop. Perhaps the class is really bad about agreeing on a name. So I can just wait for a little bit and then tell them "It's obvious" and tell them the name. As long as I can always do this in an encouraging manner. But there are times I like to be open to where their story is going because some clever things can come out of it.
Maybe I should write out my own little possible script for each story ahead of time so I have something to fall back on in case the energy is low. But isn't that the moment to remind my students that they can't slack off and need to step up to their role in class?
Yesterday I think part of the reason that it went poorly was because I didn't feel like talking much and my storytelling was very mechanical. I wasn't showing the students the love and attention they deserve. Consequently it flopped. I find myself remembering 1 Corinthians 13:1-3:
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (NIV 2010)No matter how great I might be able to make a story, if I don't express love to my students. If I am unable to convey a sense of "I care about you as a person and how you do in this class", I will flop. Some might learn Spanish, but many will be turned off by my attitude. For my success of TPRS, I must always be ready to talk about the students. That's the key. Anything apart from that isn't as interesting to them. I must choose to learn about them through the language instead of "just trying to get through the story."