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Posts Tagged ‘students’

D’une Génération à l’Autre

Today's blog post is an update on several things going on in my life lately. In my blog post on March 4, 2015, I told about the upcoming retirement of my two colleagues with whom I have been teaching French for 31 years and whom I have known for almost 45 years. In that post I also mentioned that, as sad as I was to see Bruce and Jackie retire, I was looking forward to having my former student Jeremy Patterson as my French-teaching colleague. As of Monday of this week, Jeremy is now Dr. Patterson! He successfully defended his dissertation at Middlebury College, a school renowned for its language programs. I could not be more proud of Jeremy.

About 10 years ago the president of the university where I teach encouraged us faculty who were in our 50's and early 60's to look at our students to see who we thought might be a good person to replace us upon retirement. As I considered my students at that time in regards to this, I immediately thought of Jeremy. I talked to him one day after class and told him that I knew I wasn't going to be able to teach forever and that I would like him to pray about continuing his French studies so that he could replace me someday when I retire. He told me he had never thought about anything like that, but he would indeed pray about it. Not long after that, he came to tell me that he was going to pursue the path I had suggested, as the Lord opened doors for him.

But instead of his replacing me upon my retirement, I get to enjoy having this fine man as my colleague for a few years. How cool is that?!

There's a poster I put up in my classroom each fall as a reminder about what teaching is all about — passing on what we know to the next generation. The saying at the bottom of the poster is what I have chosen as the title of this post — D'une Génération à l'Autre = From One Generation to Another. Here's a picture of that poster.
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Changing Times in Teaching

This is my 42nd year of teaching, which means I started sometime back in the last century (also back in the last millennium)! I have seen many changes during those years — changes in methodologies, changes in technology, and changes in students. I hasten to add that I have changed a lot as a teacher.

I have tried to adapt and readjust to the times and to my students' needs and interests. Attending conferences related to language teaching has been helpful along the way. In early November I attended the annual conference of the South Carolina chapter of the AATF in Columbia, SC, affiliated with the national AATF. The SC AATF conferences are generally more helpful since everything is related to the teaching of French.

Many years I attend the SCFLTA conference in February. This year's conference was especially good for several reasons. First of all the emphasis was on the use of technology that our students use routinely. We learned some ways to make use of it to draw our students into the material, using all sorts of innovative means. There was one workshop that pointed us to free materials that others have developed and made available. Why not use these freebies?! Who knew you can find all sorts of great things for French class on Pinterest?!

Another reason that SCFLTA conference was special was the awarding of the Lifetime Achievement Award to my colleague Dr. Bruce Byers.

Here's a picture of him receiving his award.
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Easy Tests


Most students and teachers are now on summer vacation here in the USA. I don't want any of them to lose their edge, so today's post is two short tests. Don't panic - they're easy tests. The first test has eleven questions. The answers are further down in the post. No fair peeking!

The Test

1. Johnny's mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child's name?

2. There is a clerk at the butcher shop, he is five feet ten inches tall and he wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh?

3. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?

4. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?

5. What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly?

6. Billy was born on December 28th, yet his birthday is always in the summer. How is this possible?

7. In California, you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?

8. What was the president's name in 1975?

9. If you were running a race, and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?

10. Which is correct to say, "The yolk of eggs are white" or "The yolk of eggs is white"?

11. If a farmer has 5 haystacks in one field and 4 haystacks in the other field, how many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in another field?
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Excuses, Reasons, or Alibis?

picture of whatever

In honor of exams ending today here at BJU, following close on the heels of students' course evaluations, I'm posting about a technique that has long been practiced by students and many others in various professions — the art of coming up with creative excuses (reasons? alibis?) for explaining their performance in times of testing. Some of the things below might also appear on students' course evaluations. You teachers out there may recognize some of these.

(With the time crunch of exams, I'm reposting this from 4 years ago. That's my story, and I'm sticking with it!)

What students say when exams roll around...

When they are given an objective test:
"It doesn't let you express yourself."

When they are given an essay test:
"It's so vague. You don't know what's expected."

When they are given many minor tests:
"Why not have a few big ones? This keeps you on edge all the time."

When they are given only a few major tests:
"Too much depends on each one."
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Beloit’s List of the Mindset of the Class of 2017

This week, as we are in Faculty In-Service at school and consider this new year of teaching, my thoughts always turn to the list posted each year at beloit.edu/mindset As I begin my 41st year of teaching, I know that I keep getting older each year while most of my students are between the ages of 18 and 22. Increasingly my range of experiences is vastly different from theirs.

Senior Freshman Meme

Our children Megan and Mark have taught or are teaching in elementary school. Both of them have students from their first year of teaching who are now college students. In some ways it's funny to hear them bemoan that those "kids" are now in college, especially since my first class of French 1 students are now eligible for senior discounts in some places! It's all a matter of one's perspective.

Today's post is about the perspective of this year's incoming freshman college students. Below is one of the introductory paragraphs on Beloit's site, followed by my favorite factoids from their list. Keep in mind that some of these statements haven't been true for the whole lives of these young people. For some things, it's simply all that the young people can remember.
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