Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Día 51 - spontaneous production

Last week I had a bit of a bad week.  There are times that this teaching thing just seems as though we are constantly giving all that we can of ourselves to the students and it can appear so thankless.

This week I've been trying to come to work with a better attitude.  I've been posting things in my classroom to remind me of this and whatever I can do to stay positive.  My students need that positivity.  When I start out positive, class tends to go better.

Yesterday, we did another weekend activity.  Strangely, for a Monday it was incredibly fun to talk to the kids about their weekend.  They really were doing a great job of playing the game and we had a lot of fun together.

My phrases were:

Fui a Des Moines.
  I went to Des Moines.  
Comí plátanos fritos de Cuba.
  I ate Cuban fried bananas.
Besé a mi esposa.
  I kissed my wife.

Strangely enough, in my 8th hour class, one of the many bright students that I have told us that another student who said he had gone to Asia told us that "corre del gobierno" (He runs from the government).  I changed this to "Corrió del gobierno" (He ran from the government.)

Upon us asking how he ran from the government to Asia, the same student said (using my preposition poster), "fue dentro de una chica" (He went inside of a girl).  To this I simply laughed and laughed while the rest of the class looked at me and wanted to know what incredibly hilariously unexpected thing that their classmate had said.  It was magical.  The boy turned out to ride in the mouth of the girl alone to Asia in order to run from the government.

In another class, we were talking about one of the characters that the class had created in their story, Dougie the pig.  It turned out that Dougie went to a pig-processing plant this weekend and he is no more.  While talking about Dougie the fictional pig who is now dead, a student said "Brett Farv jugar fútbol con Dougie" (Brett Farv to play soccer with Dougie).  I helped him after congratulating him on his intelligence that Brett Farv played american football with Dougie (Dougie's skin that is).  It turned into a storyline after that.  It doesn't matter to me on Mondays because we're talking about the weekend and the spontaneous language is the best kind.  Later the same boy told us that he was in the same discoteque that a student and Brett Farv were playing football in with Dougie the deceased pig's skin.  It turned out he was dancing on top of a desk like Michael Jackson.  He got the phrase "on top of" from the preposition list next to his chair.

These past few days, students have been taking more risks with the language and it is really neat!  In fact, while we had a student from a local university observing TPRS, one of my students created a little story spontaneously without me even needing to ask any questions.  He told us that he had a small island near Antarctica.  The island has pirates and piñatas.  Pepe the class piñata is the president.  It was ALL Spanish.  I was floored.

In previous years, it was so hard to get kids to produce the language.  But now they are with TPRS.  Today I told my kids to show off a little bit for the observer and they did.  We used so much Spanish it was amazing.  I'm not as worried now for when my principal comes to observe me.  My kids do awesome under pressure.

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