...If Someone Else Would Talk!
First hour today was work. WORK, people!
It's the day to hear speeches for class elections. I require my class to take notes on the speeches; what they did well, what they can improve. After we write in journals, I remind them about ten times to take paper and pencil to the assembly, and off we go.
When we come back, I am ready for some teachable moments. Students settle down, I am sure they are ready for their heads to expand with knowledge.
"Ok, tell me who opened their speech with something interesting?"
I see this...
"How about an ending? Did anyone conclude their speech particularly well?"
...again with the slack jawed look.
I move on.
"Let's talk about your speeches. How close to finished are we?"
So I launch into a game.
"Ok, hands up!! Everyone raise your hands! Come on!"
All nine ESL students stare at me while half of the American born kids do the same.
"Yep, I am crazy!! Ca-razy! I am a loud, crazy, American woman! I am loud, blonde and overweight. I'm American. It's my job. Hands up!!"
Now they comply. They are frightened. I go through a progression of ideas, asking them to lower their hands when they hear a step they haven't completed.
"I have chosen a topic.
I have three main points.
I have supported my points with some kind of evidence.
I have an introduction.
I have a conclusion."
I now officially dread the teaching of introductions and conclusions because they wear me out.
"Let's all grab a speech book and turn to page 333."
There is no movement, a tumbleweed blows across my classroom.
I start to sing. I sing a hastily composed version of "If I had a Speech Book". I finish the fake verse and get all the way back to the hammer before they move.
I think I need summer too.