It’s how you start.

Think of doing this with a class of high school freshmen: taking each one as an individual. I am sure, Jody, when you approached each of your students, you were not thinking of them as a group b/c they are not in a group but also b/c they are older people and you wouldn’t dream of marching around a room with a clip-board and power point on the screen shouting off names and making marks on your clip-board and making threatening sounds about low grades, non-performance and non-compliance. You had coffee together. If I could get every teacher of every subject to think of their teenage students in the same way, A side group started off flteach two years ago called Establishing Relationships. You did that with your students. Can we do that with all our students, whether little kids, teens, adults, or those like me, in our 70s, and still learning languages?
The way you start is immensely important. I remember how they’d give us classes of 40 in August in Spanish II and when we complained, they’d say attrition will bring the numbers down. Can you think of anything better designed to ruin a class for the rest of the year? All the work I did on prepping, grading, administering, updating, getting professional growth, paled compared to the psychic energy it took to keep those kids engaged.

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