edu180atl: christina smith 11.14.12
I had a fantastic lesson planned today, complete with visuals, a video clip, a famous French poem, and the opportunity to get the kids up and moving. This fantastic group of 8th grade French students knew all of the necessary vocabulary, had shown their mastery of the new verbs we’d been working on, and they were ready for the culminating activities I had designed.
And then…the kids walked into my room. It was first period of the day, and they all looked harried. We talked a little bit in English, and I soon learned that everyone was stressed because of a project and a presentation due in one class, a test in another, and a writing assignment due in a third class. As much as it pained me to throw out my plans, I could visually see the stress in my students.
I gave them the entire class period to practice their presentations, to study for their tests, and to finish up any last minute work. The relief on their faces was immediate, and I knew that I had done the right thing, even as I threw out my own lesson plan for the day. As I reflect back on today, I remember the old cliché – “They don’t care what you teach until you teach them you care.”
About the Author: Christina Smith is an avid cook, a reader of all things fiction and non-fiction, and a dedicated mother. She teaches Middle School French and Spanish.