A Plan to Deal with Anxiety

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8 thoughts on “A Plan to Deal with Anxiety”

  1. The ELA world in the U.S. is out of control with ineffectiveness. I am thinking, having an insight, that embedded readings is the answer to everthing that ails them. I mean it. I think embedded readings is the answer to the ELA disaster. I say that without fully understanding it, and so it is just an intuitive thing.

  2. Andrea, believe me, I know exactly where you are and it is very stressful. Michele’s ideas are excellent. I talked to Susie Gross about worrying that the kids have suffered from poor implementation of CI on my part. Both she and Blaine have told me that I had to go back and re-teach it until they got it. A lot of this has to do with going slowly and letting go of the covering material beast – I know, I know we often have to pass our kids off to others who don’t share our embrace of CI methods. It stinks! Ben’s template for his weekly schedule is great. It’s like a recipe -SSR, PQA 3 structures, invent story or use Matava script or work out of a novel, read, discuss, read, discuss, pop up grammar, dictation, re-tell, free write. This is going to be my template. I felt so great in French 2 this morning, just going in knowing where I wanted to be and where I am going tomorrow. They are my sleepy heads and giving out jobs, waiting them out for an answer, lots of comp checks – even they were a little livelier by the end of class. Ben said in another post that his level 3 class does the same as his 1’s and 2’s – maybe he could amplify a little on that. I also remember listening to a Carol Gaab presentation one day. She was presenting on PQA to stories. I finally said to her that I noticed that her stories were not overly long and complex. I asked her if the reading should be where that complexity happens and she said yes. Laurie and Michele have a great website on embedded reading with lots of ideas on the assessment piece too. There is really to much to chose from as far as stuff to do in the classroom. Ben’s latest thread on 2012 schedule just whisper “simplify” to me. Narrow and deep.

    1. Chill,

      Did you ever receive my district’s calendar? I sent it via my school email but then saw your asking me about it on my personal email. I’d love a meetup.

      Also, thanks for mentioning that Ben does the same material with all his levels. I teach 1 and 2 and use the same scripts for all and I always wondered about that.

      1. I am doing Houdini with levels 2 and 3. The focus in 2 is processing the past/imperfect and reviewing present in the dialog. In level three, it’s all of the aforementioned plus “In Brandon’s place, would you lie to your grandmother, would you disconnect the cable? If you were Brandon, what would you do? Brandon made some bad choices (Lesquelles? (which ones) – they can’t hear that enough!)

  3. Andrea Westphal

    I just want to thank everyone for the awesome support. I love having this community. I know that this is a safe place where I can come for very practical advice and comfort. Thanks again to everyone for all that you do!

  4. I too feel the anxiety of: Am I doing the right thing for my students? Is it OK that I am not giving out 20-30 vocab words a week for them to memorize and then do a vocab test each Monday? Is it OK that I am not having them fill in verb charts every day for practice, or fill-in-the-blanks worksheets for homework every night? Will they still learn what they need to learn (grammar-wise) before moving on? I am being too silly and serious enough for them to LEARN the language (or *IS* acquiring it better for them in the long run?) Then yesterday after school my daughter and I went to see a movie. Then this morning I read a GREAT article. Here is my post that I sent this morning to moreTPRS, if you haven’t read it already:
    Check out this article from “The Language Educator” — it has sparked a great thread on the (SUNY Cortland) FLTEACH list serve:

    http://www.actfl.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/TLE_pdf/TLE_Oct12_Article.pdf

    Also – saw a GREAT inspiring movie yesterday afternoon – just came out yesterday – with kevin James and Henry Winkler and Salma Hayek, who are high school teachers whose programs are being cut due to budget constraints. They try to fundraise (in an unconventional way) to save the programs! Kevin James ends up evolving back into an inspiring biology teacher who engages his students again. Great for us CI teachers who get strange looks from our colleagues when WE are doing whacky things in our classrooms, but DO engage our students!!! movie is “Bring down the Boom”

    THEN…..I watched the Ted Talks of Brené Brown – thanks John!!! — now I am ready to throw off that anxiety and get into the FUN of teaching through CI.
    Have a great weekend Folks!!! 🙂

  5. It’s amazing what a difference a little time can make. I felt like last year, my first year with TPRS, was total crap. But things are better this year, as I am constantly reminding myself that I MUST GO SLOWLY. (When I finally heard a 4th grader say, “We’re doing this again, it’s boring!” I knew that I could go on…I used my students as my gauge, instead of what I had written in my lesson plan book.) Sure, the kids who went on to 7th grade after 2 years of random teaching and 1 year of CI (all with me) are having a hard time with their British-educated conjugation queen teacher this year, but one of the girls told me that she felt well-prepared.
    I am a firm believer in “less is more.” My father gave me a quote by Thomas Jefferson when I was talking to him about my flower garden (which is in shambles!); the paraphrased quote is “Don’t have a plan, but have a vision.” I think this is exactly what we need in our classrooms. Sure, I know what I want to cover (my kids need to know certain irregular verbs, adjective agreement, lots of random phrases, time, weather, etc.), and it’s taking me time to figure out how to teach it. But every week I feel more comfortable. And when I have a mother tell me that her two kids (a 5th and 6th grader) went to Montreal a couple of weeks ago and they just wanted to try to use their French as much as possible, I felt successful as a teacher.
    Go easy on yourself. And have faith, both in yourself and your kids!

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