Report from the Field – MB

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22 thoughts on “Report from the Field – MB”

  1. Oh Mary Beth!!!!!! Thank you (and Ben!) for sharing this!!!! It’s a gem, you’re a gem and we all need to remember what is really important…especially at Mid%&*#terms! This giving goes so much farther than any vocabulary list ever, ever will!
    Hugs and love,
    Laurie

  2. Hey mb- great post
    Recently the 3 WL teachers at my school received the following email from a colleague:

    To whoever(sic) is blessed with “student’s name here” in their Spanish 1 class,

    Today in Math, “student’s name”, while of course doing something other than math, said to somebody near him, “I hate Spanish, we shouldn’t have to learn it. If you want to go to India, you can just learn it before you go.”

    Have a nice day.
    “teacher’s name”

    That broke my heart. That could be my child…. and oh how I would love to have a teacher feel sincerely blessed to have him in class even if he didn’t know that Spanish was not spoken in India.

    I too am so grateful to the method/community for helping me become a more effective teacher to ALL students – not just the ones that are easy to have in class.

    I look forward to progressing even more in the 17 years I have left to teach!
    skip

    1. Oh dear Skip!! First, I don’t think that this child’s teacher could be you. Second, his global studies teacher must also take some of the blame lol Third, one of my favorite notes came from a student a number of years ago. ‘Dear Ms. Clarcq, I don’t think we should need to know all of the names of the countries in Columbia. Thank you, your student _______” Ay estudianted :o) Fourth, that math teacher had no business send that to all of you. It wasn’t funny and it wasn’t nice…to you or to the student.

      WE LOVE YOU!!
      Laurie

  3. Actually, I wouldn’t take that letter as an insult to ME (like Laurie said), but rather as just a “heads up”. One thing I learned from CI is that they need repetition, repetition, repetition.
    Not many schools have Geography as a core class. Many districts leave that topic to the lower grades. I am surprised to see how many students do not know where any country is. Several years ago when I worked in another school, I had an exchange student who lived with me from Holland, and attended the school I worked in. She came home from school one day and told me that some kid asked her if Amsterdam was the capital of Canada!
    I give not one Geography Quiz during the semester, but several — all POP quizzes. The first one this semester was a disaster. the second one was better, the third better yet, and the fourth was great! One of them found a song online to help learn them and shared it with the class.
    Now, my students had all those tests crammed into one semester because I only get them for ONE semester. Skip – you get them for a whole year, so it is understandable that they don’t have it yet. And, speaking of students getting it, my “Wendy” got a ‘.02’ on the first geo test, a ‘2’ and the second, and a 25 on the third — so there are some who just don’t find it worthy of working on and studying (and YES there are some things that need to be studied.)
    And….thank you all AGAIN for your kind words!! It is just wonderful how we can all be here to support each other.

  4. just to clarify – I did NOT take it (nor do I think it was intended) as an indication that we are not teaching our kids geography in WL. When the math teacher said “to the WL teacher BLESSED to have ______” he was clearly criticizing the student… My point is that I think we need to remember that the “least of these kids” need to be seen as a blessing… They need us…. That is what I took from your original post… “Wendy” needed what you offered – which was NOT

  5. Great thread…

    “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things… Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13)

    Can we still bear it, believe it, hope it, when dealing with the kids who drag us and the class down? Can we still bear it, believe it, hope it, when we get to the end of the year and see no difference? I am convinced that if we knew each child´s story, we would wish to never fail them. But we are human, we are fallible and we have days when we cannot bear that student one more minute, when we cannot believe he will ever change and we lose our hope.

    I’ve read posts on this PLC that suggest some students are beyond bearing. I get that. I’ve had the student who flipped me off in class and, after transferring to another school, came back and announced to the class that everything I had taught her was wrong. And like all of you, I could tell of other unbearable students. We all have our war stories. And I have not always responded with that bearing, believing, hoping kind of love.

    My 2013 resolution is to obey one of the rules I have for my students: Siempre positivo. I am purposing to bear, believe and hope–not in a Pollyana, pretend there’s no bad and it will go away, sort of way. And despite my best hopes for my students, there will be some who need to drop the class because they are not ready to be part of our supportive Spanish-speaking community. I just hope that one day they will recognize that despite consequences for bad behavior, I backed up the firmness with love and respect and I didn’t write them off.

    1. Want to hear something powerful? Read that verse from Corinthians again…and in place of the word Love, put A Teacher…

      A Teacher is patient and kind; A Teacher does not envy or boast; is not arrogant or rude. A Teacher does not insist on his own way; is not irritable or resentful;does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. A Teacher bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

      We may draw lines, have consequences, speak our minds and implement tough love, but we do so as we so all that is above.
      (Parent works nicely there as well…)
      with love,
      Laurie

      1. WOW! That is going up on my wall…

        Can I try one? Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we cannot see exists.

        A colleague shared with me several years ago (when I was really struggling to love difficult students and was letting frustration get the best of me) that in his opinion FAITH was most crucial when working with children…. Faith allows us to REALLY believe that something that we do now (but cannot see) will enable them to go on and change, be different or, as you say so beautifully below ‘change the world’ I honestly try to do that every day…

        Fortunately Louis Allessio believed that about me! He is why I became a teacher. Don’t most of us have those stories of teachers that believed in us when we were not at our best?

        thank you so much Laurie, Rita, mb. January is a good month to reflect on such things!

  6. Great thread…

    “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things… Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13)

    Can we still bear it, believe it, hope it, when dealing with the kids who drag us and the class down? Can we still bear it, believe it, hope it, when we get to the end of the year and see no difference? I am convinced that if we knew each child´s story, we would wish to never fail them. But we are human, we are fallible and we have days when we cannot bear that student one more minute, when we cannot believe he will ever change and we lose our hope.

    I’ve read posts on this PLC that suggest some students are beyond bearing. I get that. I’ve had the student who flipped me off in class and, after transferring to another school, came back and announced to the class that everything I had taught her was wrong. And like all of you, I could tell of other unbearable students. We all have our war stories. And I have not always responded with that bearing, believing, hoping kind of love.

    My 2013 resolution is to obey one of the rules I have for my students: Siempre positivo. I am purposing to bear, believe and hope–not in a Pollyana, pretend there’s no bad and it will go away, sort of way. And despite my best hopes for my students, there will be some who need to drop the class because they are not ready to be part of our supportive Spanish-speaking community. I just hope that one day they will recognize that despite consequences for bad behavior, I backed up the firmness with love and respect and I didn’t write them off.

    1. Here’s my credo…for the days that I can do it: Teach as if each student has the potential to change the world.

      For the good is my hope.

      Teaching is a prayer.

      with love,
      Laurie

      1. Laurie, every student WILL change the world. We all do. Even a small pebble thrown into a pond make ripples that reach far beyond the apparent impact of the stone.

        1. Rita this point is huge. Just huge. We shouldn’t let it go by. We never seem to be able to accept that our work has meaning and purpose and even the really bad classes we teach with all the conflict in them are perhaps the best ones in ways we can’t understand.

          In my opinion, there is a purpose to all the crazy shit that we go through as teachers. In this work, possibly the most frustrating and difficult of professions, we must find the muster to just trust that our lives in teaching have purpose that we cannot understand.

          We are good and our work is important and our lives count and we are not wasting our time by going into these buildings with all those crazy ass people walking around all over the place in there every day. On the contrary, we are heroes. When we don’t see immediate results, so what? Do we really think we are in control?

          Related: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd2B6SjMh_w

  7. Was it in the inauguration speech yesterday?? Or where…a quote from Alex Haley: “Find the positive and praise it.”

    Love this thread. Thanks, all of you.

    Michele

  8. Update: (thought you would all like to know!)

    My “Wendy” actually PASSED my class! Albeit, with a D-, but she did pass — with NO ‘padding’ of the grade from me…..it was LEGIT! She did SOME of the work that I gave her, at a proficient level (she KNOWS Spanish and totally understands what she has been exposed to!), and it worked out that what she chose to do was JUST enough!
    I am actually quite glad — I think that if she had to retake this class, it would have brought back too many painful memories of what she experienced this semester!

  9. Another observation I have made (thanks to “Wendy”)
    I just wrote a note to Mom letting her know that she passed. Then it hit me — I *HAVE* made a LOT of parent contacts this past semester; I have pulled many kids aside to talk about makeups, to try to encourage kids.
    I have to thank TPRS/CI for giving me this EXTRA time to do this!!!
    hahahaha……
    Seriously ……. I realized: I am no longer bogged down with lesson plans, homework to grade, projects to grade, tons of quizzes to grade, etc. etc.
    I have “decluttered” my teaching life to such an extent that I have filled it back up with “chats” with parents — either good or bad……which is what I have always wanted to be able to do!
    OK – I’m happy now (for tonight! — no promises on permanent contentedness! haha)

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