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Posts Tagged ‘teaching’

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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Nobodies with Superpowers


Nobody

Do you ever have thoughts rattling around in your head, conflicting thoughts that seem hard to reconcile? I've had several such thoughts in recent days.

A couple Saturdays ago several of my colleagues and I traveled to Columbia, SC, to attend the annual conference of SCFLTA (South Carolina Foreign Language Teachers Association). The key note speaker challenged us to think of ways to meet our individual students' needs and desires as learners of foreign language. One of the slides in her PowerPoint had a poster something like this one:
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How do you know you are a teacher?


Teacher Patch

Since today is our first day of classes for second semester, I thought I'd post something about teaching. Every one in my immediate family has been in a teaching role or is currently a teacher, and so this list is especially funny to us. I found quite a few versions of this online with minor differences, and some were attributed to Jeff Foxworthy. Even if you're not at teacher, I hope this will bring some smiles or laughs.

How do you know you are a teacher?

You can hear 25 voices behind you and know exactly which one belongs to the child out of line.

You get a secret thrill out of laminating something.

You walk into a store and hear the words, "It's Ms/Mr.________!" and know you have been spotted.

You have 25 people that accidentally call you Mom or Dad at one time or another.

You can eat a multi-course meal in under twenty-five minutes.

You've trained yourself to go to the bathroom at two distinct times of the day: lunch and prep period.

You start saving other people's trash because, most likely, you can use that toilet paper tube or plastic butter tub for something in the classroom.

You believe the teachers' lounge should be equipped with a Tylenol machine.
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The Next Survivor Series


picture of Survivor logo

Do you like what they call "reality TV"? Although I have not watched more than a minute or two of Survivor (as I scramble for the remote control to change channels), from the ads I know there have been several different series, each with its own difficult setting and conditions. A couple of years ago I posted an idea for a new Survivor series.

A reader who teaches elementary school sent me an e-mail with an idea for yet another new series. Recently when Mark and Katie were at our house, I asked them to read it over and to change anything they deemed necessary to make it more real to life since they are both elementary school teachers. Here's the proposed plan for another series of Survivor:

Have you heard about what they are planning for the next season of Survivor? Three businessmen and women, three state senators, and three state representatives will be dropped into an elementary school classroom for one school year. Each "teacher" will be provided with a copy of the school district's curriculum and a class of 25-30 students.

Each class will have a minimum of five learning-disabled children, three with A.D.H.D., one gifted child, and two who speak limited English. Three students will be labeled with severe behavior problems.
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