It is the very lack of ACTFL’s providing teachers with ways to implement a curriculum that leads to the building of community – real human communication – in my classroom that caused me, over many years of teaching, to feel somewhat crazy all the time. I wanted to communicate with my kids instead of just delivering instructional services, but I didn’t know how.
In those early days I had to work too hard. I had to plan everything. I had to teach everything about the language without being given a fraction of the time necessary to do that. And so in my efforts to gain the approval of my supervisors I favored the few in spite of my instincts that it was not the right thing to do.
For what? In order to get three or four seniors in my AP language and literature classes to pass the AP exam with a 3 or in rare cases a 4? So the few could dominate the classroom once more in one other subject, as those few run roughshod over the others, who deserve success too?
What about the rest of those kids I taught, so many of them, who never made it past levels 1 or 2 and now years later in midlife still think that they are not good at learning a language, which according to the research is simply not true?